Impact of Cataract Surgery on Low Luminance Visual Acuity Deficit Measurements

Mengxi Shen, Yingying Shi, Liang Wang, Jonathan F. Russell, Xiaoshuang Jiang, Rita Laiginhas, Prashanth Iyer, Omer Trivizki, Marie Thulliez, Sonia H. Yoo, Terri P. Rose, Ranya G. Habash, Guillermo Amescua, William J. Feuer, Giovanni Gregori, Philip J. Rosenfeld*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The impact of cataract surgery on low luminance visual acuity deficit (LLVAD) measurements was investigated by measuring the LLVAD before and after cataract surgery. Design: Prospective, longitudinal study. Participants: Patients undergoing cataract surgery. Methods: Photopic luminance (PL)–best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and low luminance (LL)–BCVA were obtained using the ETDRS chart. Low luminance visual acuity deficit scores were calculated by subtracting the LL-BCVA letter score from the PL-BCVA letter score. To demonstrate the reproducibility of these visual acuity measurements, we used data from drusen-only eyes previously published in the Complement Inhibition with Eculizumab for the Treatment of Nonexudative Age-Related Macular Degeneration (COMPLETE) study. The PL-BCVA, LL-BCVA, and LLVAD measurements obtained at an interval of 3 months in this cohort were used for comparison. In the current study, the impact of cataract surgery on LLVAD measurements was analyzed by comparing the PL-BCVA, LL-BCVA, and LLVAD measurements before and after cataract surgery. Main Outcome Measures: The reproducibility of the visual acuity measurements and the changes in LLVAD measurement after cataract surgery. Results: In the COMPLETE study, no clinically significant differences were found in the PL-BCVA, LL-BCVA, or LLVAD measurements between baseline and the 3-month follow-up visits with a change of –1.1 letters, –1.3 letters, and 0.1 letters, respectively (P = 0.02, P = 0.11, and P = 0.88, respectively). In the current study, significant increases were found in the PL-BCVA and LL-BCVA measurements, with a change of 7.3 letters and 10.2 letters after cataract surgery (P < 0.001 for both), and a statistically significant decrease in LLVAD measurements was found, with a change of –3.0 letters after cataract surgery (P = 0.002). Conclusions: Because of the variable effect of cataracts on LL-BCVA measurements and the significant change in LLVAD measurements after cataract surgery, investigators should be aware that cataract surgery during a trial will have an unpredictable impact on LLVAD measurements, and pseudophakic and phakic patients should be analyzed separately.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100170
JournalOphthalmology Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Cataract surgery
  • Low luminance visual acuity deficit


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of Cataract Surgery on Low Luminance Visual Acuity Deficit Measurements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this