A comparison of visual function tests in eyes with maculopathy

Ophthalmology. 1986 Sep;93(9):1177-82. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(86)33598-x.


Several recently developed tests of visual function, including the Potential Acuity Meter (PAM), laser interferometer (LI), white-light interferometer (WLI), blue field entoptic phenomenon, and focal electroretinogram (ERG) were compared in 81 eyes with clear media and known macular disease. The results indicate that the PAM, the LI, and the WLI overread relative to Snellen acuity. Laser interferometric acuity values differed from Snellen acuity by at least 1.5 octaves in approximately 40% of all eyes, regardless of stimulus size (2, 5, or 8 degrees). Similar results were obtained with the WLI. Agreement with Snellen acuity was better for the PAM, with 91% of eyes falling within 1.5 octaves of Snellen acuity. Blue field and focal ERG results were categorized as normal or abnormal. While not producing Snellen equivalents, abnormal results from the blue field and focal ERG corresponded with poor Snellen acuity (less than 20/40) in 65% and 91% of eyes, respectively. Assuming that media opacities do not prevent adequate retinal stimulation, the present results suggest that the PAM and focal ERG are the most reliable for evaluating macular function when maculopathy is present.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Electroretinography
  • Humans
  • Interferometry
  • Lasers
  • Macula Lutea*
  • Retinal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Vision Tests / methods
  • Vision Tests / standards*
  • Visual Acuity