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Towards the validation of quantitative contrast sensitivity as a clinical endpoint: correlations with vision-related quality of life in bilateral AMD.

AIM: To investigate if active learning of contrast sensitivity (CS) in bilateral age-related macular degeneration (AMD) correlates better than visual acuity (VA) with vision-related quality of life (VRQoL) using factor analysis-calibrated National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire-25 (NEI VFQ-25).

METHODS: Prospective cross-sectional observational study in 93 patients (186 eyes) with bilateral AMD. CS was measured in one eye at a time with the quantitative CS function (qCSF) method (Adaptive Sensory Technology). Same-day VRQoL was assessed with factor analysis-calibrated NEI VFQ-25 visual function and socioemotional scales. Mixed-effects multiple linear regression analyses evaluated the associations of the qCSF outcomes and VA with the NEI VFQ-25 scales. A subgroup analysis on patients with AMD with VA more than 20/25 in both eyes was performed.

RESULTS: Compared with VA, CS outcomes were associated with larger effect on both visual function scale (standardised beta coefficients (β*) for area under the logarithm of CSF (AULCSF) curve and CS thresholds at 1.5, 3 and 6 cycles per degree (cpd): β*=0.50, 0.48, 0.52, 0.46, all p<0.001, respectively, vs β*=-0.45 for VA, all p<0.001) and socioemotional scale (β* for AULCSF and CS threshold at 6 cpd: β*=0.44, 0.44 vs β*=-0.42 for VA, all p<0.001). In patients with AMD with VA more than 20/25 in both eyes (N=20), both VFQ-25 scales and all CS outcomes were significantly reduced.

CONCLUSIONS: qCSF-measured CS strongly correlates with patient-reported VRQoL in bilateral AMD, even stronger than VA does. This study further validates qCSF-measured CS as a promising functional endpoint for future clinical trials in AMD.

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