New rarebit vision test captures macular deficits hidden to acuity tests.

Acta ophthalmologica

PubMedID: 25604486

Winther C, Frisén L. New rarebit vision test captures macular deficits hidden to acuity tests. Acta Ophthalmol. 2015;.
PURPOSE
Evaluation of a new personal-computer-based vision test aimed for rapid and accurate assessment of macular conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

METHODS
The new test depends on segmented digits defined by rarebits, that is, receptive field-size bright dots briefly presented against a dark background. Digit size was fixed at 40 × 50 min of arc. Digit positions were varied at random within a 4.6 × 3.5-degree test field. There were no fixation demands. The number of rarebits per digit segment could be varied between 3 (the minimum needed for veridical perception) and 128, in 11 preset steps. The test task was to find the smallest rarebit number required to recognize the test digits. Thirty-seven patients with various stages of AMD and 25 control subjects participated in the evaluation, which also included a standard acuity test.

RESULTS
Analysis of receiver operating characteristics indicated significantly better discrimination by the rarebit test. Rarebit numbers >16 appeared to reliably indicate the presence of oedema.

CONCLUSION
The rarebit test appeared well suited for fine grading of vision in AMD. The simple set-up and the lack of fixation demands made for practicable examinations of short durations. The test is available for free on the Internet.