Visual dysfunction in patients with macular hole is believed to occur because of cone cell displacement, often measured by the Watzke-Allen test (WAT). However, it is unknown if the horizontal and vertical measurements recorded by WAT reflect the true extent of photoreceptor displacement. This study aimed to measure the extent of photoreceptor displacement in patients with macular hole using WAT and compare the displacement value with the hole diameter measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT). This prospective, observational study at a single tertiary referral center included 43 patients with macular hole. WAT thresholds were assessed for their ability to detect macular hole. The slit was presented vertically and horizontally, and the brightness of the monitor screen was 180 cd/m2. Horizontal and vertical WAT thresholds for distortion were measured. Correlations and performance evaluations were assessed by Pearson's correlation analysis and Wilcoxon rank-sum test, respectively, between WAT threshold values and hole diameters. Horizontal and vertical WAT thresholds and diameters were compared using paired t-tests. The mean vertical WAT threshold (1.95° ± 0.87°) was significantly higher than the mean horizontal threshold (1.71° ± 0.73°; P < 0.0001). The mean minimum horizontal hole diameter (303.42 ± 111.16 mm; visual angle, 1.01°) was significantly greater than the mean minimum vertical diameter (264.12 ± 107.88 mm; visual angle, 0.88°; P ¼ 0.0149). The minimum vertical and horizontal macular hole diameters were positively correlated with the vertical and horizontal WAT threshold values (r ¼ 0.514, P < 0.01; r ¼ 0.447, P < 0.01, respectively). The WAT threshold values were greater than the respective minimum macular hole diameters, indicative of cone cells displacement over an area larger than that of the hole. The difference in the extent of vertical and horizontal distortions suggests asymmetric hole formation. Hence, WAT threshold values may help evaluate visual function in patients with macular hole.
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