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Am J Ophthalmol. 2003 Oct;136(4):662-9.

Repeatability of an automated Landolt C test, compared with the early treatment of diabetic retinopathy study (ETDRS) chart testing.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Institute of Undergraduate Medical Education, Rangsit University, Rajavithi Hospital, Rajavithi Road, Bangkok, Thailand.



To evaluate the repeatability of visual acuity scores from the automated test and compare them with the Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) chart.


Instrument validation study based on a model of repeatability study in two observations. SMETHODS: a prospective, clinic-based, comparative study. A total of 206 participants without ocular diseases and refractive errors in their right eyes were randomly enrolled in the automated group in which 107 participants performed the automated test and the ETDRS group in which 99 participants read the ETDRS chart. All participants were tested with only their right eyes without corrections at 4 meters and came back to have the same tests 1 week later. The automated test used the Landolt rings as optotypes and was conducted by a low-ended personal computer with a 15-inch monitor and a wireless keyboard. The "letter" score calculated by counting every correct response to optotypes, and the "threshold curve" score interpreted from the optotype size at the midpoint of a visual acuity threshold curve.


The 95% confidence interval of test-retest of visual acuity scores from the automated test are comparable to the ETDRS chart (.143 compared with.125 for letter scores,.145 compared with.122 for threshold curve scores). The score repeatabilities, calculated from the standard deviations of test-retest, from the automated test are also comparable to the ETDRS chart (.201 compared with.177 for letter scores,.206 compared with.172 for threshold curve scores). All comparisons demonstrated no statistical difference (P >.05).


The automated testing system in this study enables practical measuring visual acuity by the Landolt rings. The system's repeatability, which is comparable to the ETDRS chart, supports its role as an alternative tool for measuring outcome in new clinical research. Its ability to practically generate visual acuity threshold curves may also be useful in future clinical research studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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