Retinal differential light sensitivity variation across the macula in healthy subjects: Importance of cone separation and loci eccentricity

Danuta M. Sampson, Danial Roshandel, Avenell L. Chew, Yufei Wang, Paul G. Stevenson, Matthew N. Cooper, Elaine Ong, Lawrence Wong, Jonathan La, David Alonso-Caneiro, Enid Chelva, Jane C. Khan, David D. Sampson, Fred K. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Microperimetry measures differential light sensitivity (DLS) at specific retinal locations. The aim of this study is to examine the variation in DLS across the macula and the contribution to this variation of cone distribution metrics and retinal eccentricity. Methods: Forty healthy eyes of 40 subjects were examined by microperimetry (MAIA) and adaptive optics imaging (rtx1). Retinal DLS was measured using the grid patterns: foveal (2°–3°), macular (3°–7°), and meridional (2°–8° on horizontal and vertical meridi-ans). Cone density (CD), distribution regularity, and intercone distance (ICD) were calcu-lated at the respective test loci coordinates. Linear mixed-effects regression was used to examine the association between cone distribution metrics and loci eccentricity, and retinal DLS. Results: An eccentricity-dependent reduction in DLS was observed on all MAIA grids, which was greatest at the foveal-parafoveal junction (2°–3°) (−0.58 dB per degree, 95% confidence interval [CI]; −0.91 to −0.24 dB, P < 0.01). Retinal DLS across the meridional grid changed significantly with each 1000 cells/deg2 change in CD (0.85 dB, 95% CI; 0.10 to 1.61 dB, P = 0.03), but not with each arcmin change in ICD (1.36 dB, 95% CI; −2.93 to 0.20 dB, P = 0.09). Conclusions: We demonstrate significant variation in DLS across the macula. Topographical change in cone separation is an important determinant of the variation in DLS at the foveal-parafoveal junction. We caution the extrapolation of changes in DLS measurements to cone distribution because the relationship between these variables is complex. Translational Relevance: Cone density is an independent determinant of DLS in the foveal-parafoveal junction in healthy eyes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2021


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