The Use of Microperimetry to Detect Functional Progression in Non-Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Systematic Review

Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). Jan-Feb 2017;6(1):70-79. doi: 10.22608/APO.201643.


We reviewed the current literature on the ability of microperimetry to detect non-neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) disease progression. The index test was retinal sensitivity measurement assessed by microperimetry and comparators were other functional measures (best-corrected and low-luminance visual acuities, and fixation stability) and structural parameters [retinal thickness, choroidal thickness, and area of geographic atrophy (GA) determined by color fundus photographs, short-wave or near-infrared fundus autofluorescence]. The reference standard was area of GA. The literature search was conducted in January 2016 and included MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, Biosis, Science Citation Index, ProQuest Health and Medicine, CINAHL, and Highwire Press. We included 6 studies that enrolled 41 eyes with intermediate AMD (from a single study) and 80 eyes with GA secondary to AMD. Retinal sensitivity measured by microperimetry was the only functional measure that consistently detected progression in each cohort. Insufficient reported data precluded meta-analysis. Various microperimetry parameters were used to assess cohort-level change in retinal sensitivity, but the methods of analysis have yet to mature in complexity in comparison with established glaucoma field progression analysis. Microperimetry-assessed retinal sensitivity measurement may be more sensitive in detecting progression than other functional measures in non-neovascular AMD. However, the lack of standardized testing protocol and methods of progression analysis hindered comparison. Harmonization of testing protocol and development of more robust methods of analyzing raw microperimetric data will facilitate clinical implementation of this valuable retinal assessment tool.

Keywords: geographic atrophy; microperimetry; natural history; non-neovascular age-related macular degeneration; visual field tests.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Progression
  • Fixation, Ocular / physiology
  • Geographic Atrophy / diagnosis
  • Geographic Atrophy / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / diagnosis*
  • Macular Degeneration / physiopathology
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Visual Field Tests / methods*
  • Visual Fields / physiology