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Structure-Function Relationship in Keratoconus: Spatial and Depth Vision

Kumar, P., Campbell, P., Vaddavalli, P. K. , Hull, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-2205-4443 & Bharadwaj, S. R. (2023). Structure-Function Relationship in Keratoconus: Spatial and Depth Vision. Translational Vision Science & Technology, 12(12), article number 21. doi: 10.1167/tvst.12.12.21


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine changes in spatial and depth vision with increasing severity of keratoconus and to model the structure-function relationship to identify distinct phases of loss in visual function with disease severity.

Methods: Best-spectacle corrected, monocular high-contrast visual acuity, contrast sensitivity function (CSF) and stereoacuity of 155 cases (16–31 years) with mild to advanced bilateral keratoconus was determined using standard psychophysical tests. Disease severity was quantified using the multimetric D-index. The structure-function relationship was modeled using linear, positive exponential, negative exponential, and logistic nonlinear regression equations.

Results: The logistic regression model explained the highest proportion of variance for spatial vision, without bias in the residual plots (R2 ≥ 66%, P < 0.001). Visual acuity showed a distinct ceiling phase and a steeper loss rate with increasing D-index (1.8 units/D-index) in this model. The area under the CSF lacked this ceiling phase and had a shallower loss rate (0.28 units/D-index). Stereoacuity loss with D-index was poorly explained by all models tested (P ≤ 0.2). Cases with lower and bilaterally symmetric D-index had better stereoacuity (181.6-376 arc seconds) than those with higher D-index (>400 arc second); both were significantly poorer than controls (approximately 30 arc second).

Conclusions: Vision loss in keratoconus varies with the visual function parameter tested. Contrast sensitivity may be an earlier indicator of spatial vision loss than visual acuity. Depth perception is significantly deteriorated from very early stages of the disease.

Translational Relevance: The study outcomes may be used to forecast longitudinal vision loss in keratoconus and to apply appropriate interventions for timely preservation/enhancement of vulnerable visual functions.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright 2023 The Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
SWORD Depositor:
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