Purpose: To develop and test the application of an adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope (AOSLO) with eye tracking for high-resolution microperimetric testing.
Methods: An AOSLO was used to conduct simultaneous high-resolution retinal imaging and visual function testing in six normal subjects. Visual sensitivity was measured at test locations between the fovea and 5.0° eccentricity via an increment threshold approach using a 40-trial, yes-no adaptive Bayesian staircase procedure (QUEST). A high-speed eye tracking algorithm enabled real-time video stabilization and the delivery of diffraction-limited Goldmann I-sized stimuli (diameter = 6.5 arc min = ∼32 μm; λ = 680 nm) to targeted retinal loci for 200 ms. Test locations were selected either manually by the examiner or automatically using Fourier-based image registration. Cone spacing was assessed at each test location and sensitivity was plotted against retinal eccentricity. Finally, a 4.2 arc min stimulus was used to probe the angioscotoma associated with a blood vessel located at 2.5° eccentricity.
Results: Visual sensitivity decreases with eccentricity at a rate of -1.32 dB/deg (R = 0.60). The vertical and horizontal errors of the targeted stimulus delivery algorithm averaged 0.81 and 0.89 arc min (∼4 μm), respectively. Based on a predetermined exclusion criterion, the stimulus was successfully delivered to its targeted location in 90.1% of all trials. Automated recovery of test locations afforded the repeat testing of the same set of cones over a period of 3 months. Thresholds measured over a parafoveal blood vessel were 1.96 times higher (p < 0.05; one-tailed t-test) than those measured in directly adjacent retina.
Conclusions: AOSLO-based microperimetry has the potential to test visual sensitivity with fine retinotopic precision. Automated recovery of previously tested locations allows these measures to be tracked longitudinally. This approach can be implemented by researchers interested in establishing the functional correlates of photoreceptor mosaic structure in patients with retinal disease.