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J Refract Surg. 2002 Jan-Feb;18(1):9-13.

Mesopic contrast sensitivity function after excimer laser photorefractive keratectomy.

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Unitat d'Optometria i Ciències de la Visió, Universitat de Valencia, Spain.



To evaluate contrast sensitivity under mesopic conditions in patients who had undergone uncomplicated excimer laser photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) for myopia.


Monocular contrast sensitivity function was measured with the Stereo Optical F.A.C.T. chart in 26 patients who had received PRK using the Nidek EC-5000 excimer laser system. Mean preoperative refractive error was -6.23 +/- 1.69 D (range, -4.00 to -8.25 D); postoperatively, mean refractive error was -0.36 +/- 0.58 D (range, -0.75 to +0.50 D). Contrast sensitivity function was measured 6 months after surgery using four different chart luminances: 85, 5.0, 2.5, and 0.1 cd/m2, the first being a photopic level and the rest mesopic. A control group of eight emmetropic subjects was also studied to allow comparison of results for statistical purposes.


Logarithmic values of contrast sensitivity at each spatial frequency were used for statistical analysis and normalized values were used for graphical representation. The results showed a statistically significant reduction (P < .01) in contrast sensitivity for the PRK patients in comparison with the control group under mesopic conditions for each spatial frequency tested (1.5, 3, 6, 12, and 18 c/deg), although no significant contrast sensitivity differences were observed between PRK and control groups at the photopic (85 cd/m2) level (P > .01 for all frequencies).


Photorefractive keratectomy can induce significant reductions in contrast sensitivity under mesopic conditions, even though the photopic contrast sensitivity function is normal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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