BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: To evaluate retinal sensitivity (RS) by mesopic and scotopic microperimetry (MP-1S) in an elderly Amish population with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Mesopic and scotopic microperimetric testing was performed in 148 eyes of 77 elderly Amish subjects (age > 50 years) from Pennsylvania using a retinal function analyzer. Scotopic testing was performed using a 2.0 log unit neutral density filter following 30 minutes of dark adaptation. All subjects underwent complete ophthalmic examinations, including spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, fundus autofluorescence, infrared reflectance imaging, and flash color fundus photography. Certified graders at Doheny Image Reading Center identified subjects with evidence of AMD as defined by the Beckman classification and quantified drusen volume. RS in subjects with and without AMD was compared. Correlations between RS and drusen burden were analyzed. Ten eyes with incomplete MP-1S exams were excluded from the final analysis. RESULTS: Among the 138 eyes from 77 subjects included in the final analysis, 42 eyes from 29 subjects had evidence of early or intermediate AMD. The mean age of subjects with AMD was 69.65 years ± 13.81 years versus 63.04 years ± 12.69 years in those without AMD (P = .06). Mesopic RS was 18.8 dB ± 2.1 dB in subjects with AMD and 19.6 dB ± 1.4 dB in those without AMD (P = .07). Scotopic RS was significantly lower (P = .04) in subjects with AMD (15.9 dB ± 2.9 dB) compared with those without AMD (17.3 dB ± 2.4 dB). There was no relationship between mesopic RS and either drusen area (r = -0.06; P = .32) or drusen volume (r = -0.08; P = .30). There was a trend for an association between scotopic RS and both drusen area (r = -0.39; P = .24) and drusen volume (r = -0.36; P = .30). CONCLUSIONS: In an elderly Amish population, eyes with early or intermediate AMD show a greater reduction in scotopic RS than mesopic RS, suggesting that rod function is more severely affected than cone function. Drusen area and volume measurements better correlated with scotopic RS.
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