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Ger J Ophthalmol. 1995 Mar;4(2):97-102.

Comparison of temporal and spatiotemporal contrast-sensitivity tests in normal subjects and glaucoma patients.

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DFG Klinische Forschergruppe Glaukome (Na 55/6-2), Augenklinik der Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.


Contrast sensitivity (CS) is reduced in glaucoma diseases. This study compares the value of different CS measurements in glaucoma diagnosis. The study population consisted of age-matched groups of 31 normal subjects (age, 36-59 years; median, 47 years; mean +/- SD, 47.4 +/- 7 years) and 59 glaucoma patients with optic disk damage and visual field defects (age, 36-63 years; median, 53 years; mean +/- SD, 52.3 +/- 7 years). Three types of CS determination were carried out in all subjects: (1) temporal CS of a sinusoidally flickering light (37 Hz) in a ganzfeld bowl, (2) spatiotemporal CS (alternating pattern: 2.5 Hz, 1 cycle/degree; screen size, 5.3 degrees x 4.3 degrees) in a temporal upper retinal area (13.8 degrees horizontal, 4.2 degrees vertical), and (3) spatial CS of a static pattern (three spatial frequencies: 0.6, 3.0, and 12 cycles/degree; screen size, 5.3 degrees x 4.3 degrees) with central fixation. In glaucoma patients the results of CS tests with flickering stimuli were highly significantly correlated with the perimetric mean sensitivity (MS; Octopus G1 program: temporal CS, r = 0.67, P < 0.001; spatiotemporal CS, r = 0.8, P < 0.001). For spatial CS the frequency of 3.0 cycles/degree showed the strongest correlation with MS (r = 0.64, P < 0.001). Only the peripherally localized, spatiotemporal CS showed a strong correlation with optic disk damage (r = 0.59, P < 0.001). On the other hand, the full-field flicker test achieved the best separation between normal subjects and glaucoma patients (specificity, 90%; sensitivity, 71%). These results indicate that tests for temporal resolution are more sensitive to glaucoma defects than are tests for spatial resolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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