Use of fundus perimetry (microperimetry) to quantify macular sensitivity.

Abstract

The advances in retinal imaging technologies have led to enormous innovation towards diagnostic in current ophthalmology, enabling the practitioner to detect early retinal changes and to document treatment effects. While, in the past, retinoscopy, visual acuity testing and perimetry played the major role in functional diagnostics, today, laser-based systems like laser scanning imaging systems especially for fluorescein-angiography, optical coherence tomography, electrodiagnostic systems and the analysis of retinal vessels may be used as well. However, the challenge to correlate subjective alterations or clinical changes with visual function, still remains. Micro- or fundus perimetry offers the option to test retinal sensitivity while directly observing the fundus. In this paper, we review the literature encompassing the results of more than 25 years of fundus perimetry, i.e. perimetry under simultaneous visualization of the fundus. During this time, results on known diseases and reproducibility of the technique were published, but a lot of work was also performed on the combination of different examination methods, allowing a synopsis of long-term results and new approaches by combining different methods and improving each of them. The first part of this review attends to improvements of the method. The second part addresses the clinical and diagnostic values. The final part is dedicated to diagnostic and long-term observation of fundus perimetric results beginning with common and rare diseases like age-related macular degeneration, macular holes and diabetic retinopathy, various types of macular dystrophies ending with challenges in conventional perimetry like glaucoma and malingering. Due to the experience and progress in the field of fundus perimetry and retinal imaging, the method has long passed its role of observing and has all the potential for prediction, early detection and treatment-monitoring of macular diseases.

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