Journal of Biomedical OpticsThree-dimensional computer-automated threshold Amsler grid test
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We describe a novel method for testing a visual field that employs a computer monitor with displays of varying contrast that permits unprecedented resolution and characterization of the structure of scotomas in three dimensions. Patients are placed in front of a touch-sensitive computer screen at a fixed distance. With one eye covered, they focus on a central fixation marker and trace with their finger the areas on an Amsler grid that are missing from their field of vision. Increasing degrees of contrast of the Amsler grid are simulated by repeating the test at different gray-scale levels. The results are recorded and then displayed as topographical contour rings by the computer test program. The results can also be rendered as an immediate 3-D depiction of the central hill-of-vision. Several clinical pilot studies have been conducted at the Doheny Eye Institute and more than 200 patients have been examined with this system so far. Conditions such as optic neuritis, anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (AION), age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, and ocular hypertension have been successfully assessed by this test. Each condition provides unique patterns that are most evident in 3-D. The 3-D computer-automated threshold Amsler grid test is an innovative and noninvasive visual field test. It provides several advantages over state-of-the-art standard automated perimetry, including: (1) additional information through 3-D depiction of scotomas, such as location, extent, slope, depth, and shape; (2) high angular resolution (1 deg compared with typically 6 deg); (3) a simple test setup (merely a touch-sensitive computer monitor and the test software); (4) excellent patient compliance (spending 4 to 5 min per eye). In light of its promising initial tests, the 3-D visual field test appears to have the potential for the early detection and monitoring of various diseases over time.