Send to

Choose Destination
Diabetologia. 2005 Dec;48(12):2494-500. Epub 2005 Nov 1.

Visual fields correlate better than visual acuity to severity of diabetic retinopathy.

Author information

Department of Clinical Sciences, Ophthalmology, Malmö University Hospital, 20502, Malmö, Sweden.



We compared the outcomes of perimetric and visual acuity tests in patients with diabetic retinopathy.


We examined 59 diabetic patients with different degrees of retinopathy using stereo fundus photography in accordance with the Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) and fluorescein angiography. Conventional white-on-white perimetry (WWP) and short wavelength automated perimetry (SWAP) were performed and analysed with reference to normal values. Visual acuity was measured with ETDRS charts.


Regression analysis revealed that visual acuity was significantly associated with increasing severity of retinopathy according to the ETDRS scale when visual acuity was estimated by counting logarithm of minimum angle of resolution (LogMar) scores, but not when visual acuity was measured by the conventional reading of the smallest line that could be seen. Visual acuity decreased by 0.02 LogMar per ETDRS step (p=0.03). The degree of visual field loss was significantly associated with increasing severity of retinopathy according to the ETDRS scale, perimetric sensitivity decreasing by 0.44 dB per ETDRS step (p=0.0001) using WWP, and by 0.40 dB per ETDRS step (p=0.04) with SWAP. The size of the area of the foveal avascular zone and adjacent perifoveal intercapillary areas (PIAs) also affected the central visual field as obtained both by WWP (-2.6 dB/mm2, p=0.03), and by SWAP (-7.9 dB/mm2, p=0.002), but did not affect visual acuity. The regression model fit for peripheral retinopathy according to the ETDRS scale was better using WWP than SWAP or visual acuity, while SWAP testing was superior to both WWP and visual acuity when measuring effects caused by enlarged foveal avascular zones and PIAs.


Perimetry can provide more useful information than visual acuity on functional loss in diabetic retinopathy, particularly when the perifoveal capillary network is damaged.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center