Quantification of visual field loss in age-related macular degeneration

Robert Cubbidge, Jennifer Acton, Jonathan Gibson

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review



Purpose:To determine methods of quantifying the sensitivity loss in the central 10o visual field in a cross section of patients at various stages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Methods:Standard and short-wavelength automated perimetry (SAP and SWAP) visual fields were collected using program 10-2 of the Humphrey Field Analyzer, in 44 eyes of 27 patients with AMD and 41 eyes of 22 normal subjects. Stereoscopic fundus photographs were graded by two independent observers and the stage of disease determined. Global indices were compared for their ability to delineate the normal visual field from early stages of AMD and to differentiate between stages.

Results:Mean Deviation (MD) and Pattern Standard Deviation (PSD) varied significantly with stage of disease in SAP (both p<0.001) and SWAP (both p<0.001), but post-hoc analysis revealed overlap of functional values between stages. Global indices of focal loss, PSD and local spatial variability (LSV) were the most sensitive to detecting differences between normal subjects and early stage AMD patients, in SAP and SWAP, respectively. Overall, defects were confined to the central 5°. SWAP defects were consistently greater in depth and area than those in SAP. The most vulnerable region of the 10° field to sensitivity loss with increasing stage of AMD was the central 1°, in which the sensitivity decline was -4.8dB per stage in SAP and -4.9dB per stage in SWAP. Based on the pattern deviation defect maps, a severity index of AMD visual field loss was derived. Threshold variability was considerably increased in late stage AMD eyes.

Conclusions:Global indices of focal loss were more sensitive to the detection of early stage AMD from normal. The sensitivity decline with advancing stage of AMD was greater in SWAP compared to SAP, however the trend was not strong across all stages of disease. The less commonly used index LSV represents relatively statistically unmanipulated summary measure of focal loss. A new severity index is described which is sensitive to visual field change in AMD, measures visual field defects on a continuous scale and may serve as a useful measure of functional change in AMD in longitudinal studies.

Keywords: visual fields • age-related macular degeneration • perimetry
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2010
EventArvo 2010 - Fort Lauderdale, United States
Duration: 2 May 20106 May 2010


ConferenceArvo 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityFort Lauderdale


  • visual fields
  • age-related macular degeneration
  • perimetry


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