Measuring image distortions arising from age-related macular degeneration: An Iterative Amsler Grid (IAG)

Inci Ayhan, Edward Doyle, Johannes Zanker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metamorphopsia, perceived as distortion of a shape, is experienced in age-related macular degeneration (AMD): straight lines appear to be curved and wavy to AMD patients and some other retinal pathologies. Conventional clinical assessment largely relies on asking patients to identify irregularities in Amsler Grids - a standardized set of equally spaced vertical and horizontal lines. Perceived distortions or gaps in the grid are a sign of macular pathology. Here, we developed an iterative Amsler Grid (IAG) procedure to obtain a quantifiable map of visual deformations. Horizontal and vertical line segments representing metamorphopsia are displayed on a computer screen. Line segments appearing distorted are adjusted by participants using the computer mouse to change their orientation in several iteratively such that they appear straight. Control participants are able to reliably correct deformations that simulate metamorphopsia while maintaining fixation in the center. In a pilot experiment, we attempted to obtain deformation maps from a small number of AMD patients. Whereas some patients with extensive scotomas found this procedure challenging, others were comfortable using the IAG and generating deformation maps corresponding to their subjective reports. This procedure may potentially be used to quantify local distortions and map them reliably in patients with early AMD.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere107
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2022

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