July 30, 2014
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New contrast sensitivity test reliable for detection of early glaucoma

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A new contrast sensitivity test demonstrated reliability in identifying patients with glaucoma, according to a study.

The Spaeth/Richman Contrast Sensitivity Test (SPARCS) is designed to gauge the contrast threshold of patients’ central vision and peripheral vision. The internet-based test features multiple-choice questions and a bracketing technique to determine contrast threshold.

The prospective study included 261 eyes of 157 patients; 118 patients had glaucoma, 18 had suspected glaucoma and a control group comprised 125 healthy patients. The researchers used SPARCS and the Pelli-Robson chart to assess contrast sensitivity. The intraclass correlation coefficient and coefficient of repeatability were used to assess the reliability of each test.

Study results showed that the intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.97 for SPARCS and 0.98 for Pelli-Robson. The coefficient of repeatability was 6.7% for SPARCS and 6.4% for Pelli-Robson.

Using the SPARCS test, glaucoma patients were identified with 79% sensitivity and 93% specificity.

Patients in the control group had significantly higher SPARCS scores than patients with glaucoma and suspected glaucoma, according to the researchers (P < .05).

Disclosure: See the study for a full list of all authors’ relevant financial disclosures.