Amsler Grid Not Sensitive Enough for Diagnosing Neovascular AMD

Sensitivity was 67 percent, specificity was 99 percent compared with healthy controls
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- The Amsler grid has a sensitivity of 67 percent for diagnosing neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) compared with healthy controls, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online Feb. 16 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Jakob Bjerager, M.D., from Rigshospitalet in Glostrup, Denmark, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to examine the diagnostic test accuracy of the Amsler grid in the diagnosis of neovascular AMD. Data were included from 10 studies with 1,890 eyes.

The researchers found that the sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing neovascular AMD were 67 and 99 percent, respectively, and 71 and 63 percent, respectively, when comparators were healthy control participants and patients with non-neovascular AMD. Across studies, the potential sources of bias were found to be low.

"Our findings suggest that the Amsler grid test should be used with caution for detecting neovascular AMD in eyes with an a priori risk of neovascular AMD," the authors write. "Although the Amsler grid test is inexpensive, readily available, easy to use, and independent of electronics or devices, it is important to note that when patients have signs of early or dry AMD and, thus, are at risk of developing neovascular AMD, the actual performance of the Amsler grid is not at a level typically recommended for monitoring."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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