Evaluation of Cone- and Rod-Mediated Parameters in Dark Adaptation Testing as Outcome Measures in Age-Related Macular Degeneration


To investigate the suitability of 6 rod- or cone-mediated dark adaptation (DA) parameters as outcome measures for clinical trials in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), including their retest reliability, association with age and disease severity, and measurable longitudinal change over time. Prospective, longitudinal study (Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01352975). A total of 191 patients with AMD and older participants followed longitudinally over 5 years. Dark adaptation testing was performed using the AdaptDx dark adaptometer with a maximum test time of 40 minutes. A 2-part exponential-linear curve was fitted to obtain values for cone decay, cone plateau, time to rod-cone break, rod intercept time (RIT), rod adaptation rate (S2), and area under the curve. Intersession retest reliability was assessed in tests performed within 2 weeks using the Bland-Altman analysis. The relationship of DA parameters with age, AMD severity, and reticular pseudodrusen (RPD) presence was evaluated using linear mixed models. Retest reliability, association with disease severity, and longitudinal change of 6 DA parameters. 22.8 minutes) with a slope of 0.07 log units per 10 minutes RIT prolongation. Therefore, it might provide additional information in the advanced stages of AMD. Age-related macular degeneration severity and RPD presence are each associated with large differences in multiple DA curve parameters. In addition, substantial differences in some parameters occur with age, even accounting for AMD severity and RPD status. This supports the 2-hit hypothesis of age and disease status on DA (and perhaps AMD pathophysiology itself). Of the DA parameters, RIT has the highest retest reliability, closest correlation with AMD severity and RPD, and largest longitudinal changes. This underscores the suitability of RIT as an outcome measure in clinical trials. The cone plateau increases only in advanced stages of kinetic rod dysfunction, indicating rod dysfunction preceding cone dysfunction and degeneration in the temporal sequence of pathology in AMD.

Ophthalmol Retina