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Documenta Ophthalmologica

, Volume 126, Issue 1, pp 45–56 | Cite as

A comparison of the performance of three visual evoked potential-based methods to estimate visual acuity

  • Anne KurtenbachEmail author
  • Hana Langrová
  • Andre Messias
  • Eberhart Zrenner
  • Herbert Jägle
Original Research Article

Abstract

Purpose

To compare visual acuities estimated by three methods of visual evoked potential (VEP) recordings to those obtained by two subjective measures [ETDRS and FrACT (Freiburg acuity test)].

Methods

Ten healthy subjects, aged between 26 and 67 years (mean 43.5), were examined. Best-corrected acuity determined by the ETDRS was between 0.03 and −0.3 logMAR (mean −0.06). Sweep VEPs (sweepVEP), pattern appearance VEPs (pappVEP) and steady-state VEPs (ssVEP) were recorded with two electrode placements (10–20 and Laplace) with best optical correction and with artificially degraded vision using five Bangerter occlusion foils, reducing acuity to about 0.1, 0.22, 0.52, 0.7 and 1.0 logMAR (0.8, 0.6, 0.3, 0.2 and 0.1 decimal scale). Two runs were performed.

Results

ETDRS and FrACT acuities showed good agreement, even though ETDRS seemed to underestimate acuity compared with FrACT at higher acuities. Laplace derivation did not improve any of the VEP-estimated acuities over the 10–20. SweepVEP tended to overestimate lower FrACT acuities, but showed good repeatability. PappVEP placed FrACT acuities into correct or neighboring categories in 87 % of cases. Average ssVEP acuity showed little difference to those of FrACT but variance was larger. ROC analysis for typical clinical application showed good performance for all three methods.

Conclusions

The two subjective measurements of acuities are well correlated. Under the conditions of our experiment, sweepVEP results were less variable and had a better repeatability than ssVEP acuities, whose analysis, in contrast to sweepVEP, can be automated. PappVEP estimates, however, offer a viable alternative, that is, quicker but of lower performance regarding the detection of low acuity thresholds. All methods had a good performance regarding minimum acuity detection if an average of two runs is used.

Keywords

Visual acuity Visual evoked potentials Electrophysiology Electrode placement 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Supported by a German Research Foundation grant JA997/8-1, the Tistou and Charlotte Kerstan Foundation Vision 2000 and the Malloch foundation.

Conflict of interest

None.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Kurtenbach
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hana Langrová
    • 2
  • Andre Messias
    • 1
    • 3
  • Eberhart Zrenner
    • 1
  • Herbert Jägle
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Ophthalmic ResearchUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.University Eye HospitalHradec KrálovéCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine of Ribeirão PretoUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  4. 4.Department of OphthalmologyUniversity Hospital RegensburgRegensburgGermany

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