J.-P. Stellmann, K. L. Young, J. Pöttgen, M. Dorr, and C. Heesen


Background Impaired low-contrast visual acuity (LCVA) is common in multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological diseases. Its assessment is often limited to selected contrasts, for example, 2.5% or 1.25%. Computerized adaptive testing with the quick contrast-sensitivity function (qCSF) method allows assessment across expanded contrast and spatial frequency ranges.

Objective The objective of this article is to compare qCSF with high- and low-contrast charts and patient-reported visual function.

Methods We enrolled 131 consecutive MS patients (mean age 39.6 years) to assess high-contrast visual acuity (HCVA) at 30 cm and 5 m, low-contrast vision with Sloan charts at 2.5% and 1.25%, qCSF and the National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire (NEIVFQ). Associations between the different measures were estimated with linear regression models corrected for age, gender and multiple testing.

Results The association between qCSF and Sloan charts (R2 = 0.68) was higher than with HCVA (5 m: R2 = 0.5; 30 cm: R2 = 0.41). The highest association with NEIVFQ subscales was observed for qCSF (R2 0.20–0.57), while Sloan charts were not associated with any NEIVFQ subscale after correction for multiple testing.

Conclusion The qCSF is a promising new outcome for low-contrast vision in MS and other neurological diseases. Here we show a closer link to patient-reported visual function than standard low- and high-contrast charts.