Purpose: To evaluate and quantify visual function metrics to be used as endpoints of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) stages and visual acuity (VA) loss in patients with early and intermediate AMD.
Design: Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a prospective study.
Methods: One hundred and one patients were enrolled at Duke Eye Center: 80 patients with early AMD (Age-Related Eye Disease Study [AREDS] stage 2 [n = 33] and intermediate stage 3 [n = 47]) and 21 age-matched, normal controls. A dilated retinal examination, macular pigment optical density measurements, and several functional assessments (best-corrected visual acuity, macular integrity assessment mesopic microperimety, dark adaptometry, low-luminance visual acuity [LLVA] [standard using a log 2.0 neutral density filter and computerized method], and cone contrast test [CCT]) were performed. Low-luminance deficit (LLD) was defined as the difference in numbers of letters read at standard vs low luminance. Group comparisons were performed to evaluate differences between the control and the early and intermediate AMD groups using 2-sided significance tests.
Results: Functional measures that significantly distinguished between normal and intermediate AMD were standard and computerized (0.5 cd/m2) LLVA, percent reduced threshold and average threshold on microperimetry, CCTs, and rod intercept on dark adaptation (P < .05). The intermediate group demonstrated deficits in microperimetry reduced threshhold, computerized LLD2, and dark adaptation (P < .05) relative to early AMD.
Conclusions: Our study suggests that LLVA, microperimetry, CCT, and dark adaptation may serve as functional measures differentiating early-to-intermediate stages of dry AMD.
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