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  • The visual acuity of 85 patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) was evaluated in a single study visit and compared with healthy controls. The study included 45 patients with exudative AMD and 42 with non-exudative AMD. Vision was assessed first with black contrast and subsequently with color contrast using various colors and intensities. Patients with exudative AMD demonstrated decreased visual performance under various color contrast settings compared with healthy controls or those wrth non-exudatrve AMD. Color contrast perfonmance using yellow and blue differentiated more advanced exudative disease from earlier non-exudative disease. Color contrast performance with blue and black more accurately identified the exudative AMD group from healthy controls and the non-exudative AMD group.
  • Color contrast measures can potentially serve as an adjunctrve clinical tool to identify subtle alterations in visual function and to differentiate disease severity. Unlike optical coherence tomography thickness, color contrast directly affects patient function and perception.

– Raza M. Shah, MD



This study aimed to determine which colour contrast sensitivity differences exist in early to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and examine the potential utility of the King-Devick Variable Color Contrast Sensitivity Chart in detecting AMD severity.

Methods and Analysis

A total of 85 participants (144 total eyes) were recruited from multiple clinical practices and enrolled in the study The control group consisted of 57 healthy eyes The non-exudative AMD (NE-AMD) group consisted of 45 eyes The exudative AMD (E-AMD) group consisted of 42 eyes In a single study visit, monocular best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) at 40 cm with 100% black contrast was determined for each eye. Using the BCVA line, the number of letters correctly identified (out of 10) was recorded for various colour presentations (red, green, blue and yellow) and at decreasing contrast levels (100%, 75%, 50% and 25%).


Our results show worse visual performance under various colour contrast settings in E-AMD patients compared with healthy controls and NE-AMD. Colour contrast performance using blue and yellow differentiated more advanced stages of disease in E-AMD from earlier NE-AMD disease. Blue and black colour contrast performance more accurately identified the E-AMD group from h,ealthy controls and the NE-AMD group.


The findings of this study demonst rate that colour contrast, particularly with black, blue and yellow, is impaired in E-AMD suggest ing the potential for colour contrast measures to serve as an adjunctive clinical tool in identifying subtle altered visual funct ion as well as the potential for detecting disease severity.

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