Low luminance visual acuity as a clinical measure and clinical trial outcome measure: a scoping review


Purpose: The measurement of standard visual acuity (VA) is the most well-known part of any ophthalmic examination to indicate visual function. Despite this, it is insensitive in detecting early disease changes. Therefore, other visual function tests have been developed including low luminance VA (LLVA) and low luminance deficit (LLD). This scoping literature review aims to summarise the current published applications of LLVA and LLD assessments to evaluate their utility as clinical markers and research outcome measures in a variety of ophthalmic conditions. Recent findings: Sixty-five peer-reviewed publications were included. LLVA was pioneered for use in geographic atrophy, a subtype of age-related macular degeneration, which remains the mainstay of its clinical application. However, other studies have reported additional useful applications in inherited retinal diseases including rare maculopathies and rod-cone dystrophies. Although there are some variations in testing methodology, use of the standard Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) chart with a 2.0 log unit neutral density filter is the most popular approach. The optimal testing luminance is still to be defined. Summary: Overall, LLVA is an earlier clinical marker of change in central retinal function than standard VA. It has been shown to be a risk factor for disease progression and a better indicator of a patient’s level of everyday visual function. It is inexpensive and simple to implement using readily available standard ophthalmic equipment.

Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, (41), 2, pp. 213–223, https://doi.org/10.1111/opo.12775

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