Using the Amsler Grid Test for Age-Related Macular Degeneration Screening

Turk J Ophthalmol. 2024 Feb 22;54(1):11-16. doi: 10.4274/tjo.galenos.2023.04238.


Objectives: To evaluate the use of the Amsler grid test (AGT) in screening for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the most common causes of blindness, in primary healthcare settings.

Materials and methods: The AGT was applied to 700 eyes of 355 people aged 50 and over who applied to a family health center in Ankara and had no eye complaints. The test was considered positive if the lines on the AGT card were seen as broken or curved, there was a difference in shape or size between the squares, or a color change or blurring was described in any area. An ophthalmologist was consulted if the AGT was positive in one or both eyes. Patients considered suitable by ophthalmologists were evaluated with optical coherence tomography. AGT results were compared with ophthalmologist examination and tomography findings in terms of AMD detection.

Results: The AGT was positive in 97 (13.9%) and negative in 603 (86.1%) out of 700 eyes included in the study. A total of 184 eyes, 79 with a positive AGT and 105 eyes with a negative test, were evaluated by an ophthalmologist. As a result of examinations and tests performed by ophthalmologists, AMD was detected in a total of 67 eyes: 42 of 79 eyes with positive AGT and 25 of 105 eyes with negative AGT but referred to an ophthalmologist for different reasons. In our study, the AGT had 62.7% sensitivity and 68.4% specificity.

Conclusion: The AGT is an inexpensive and easily applicable test. Although moderate sensitivity and specificity were found in our study; further studies are needed to evaluate the suitability of its use for AMD screening in primary care with limited facilities.

Keywords: Amsler grid test; macular degeneration; scanning; sensitivity; specificity.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration* / diagnosis
  • Middle Aged
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Field Tests* / methods