Manifest refraction versus autorefraction for patients with subfoveal choroidal neovascularization

P. R. Orr, L. D. Cramer, B. S. Hawkins, N. M. Bressler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. To compare the results from manifest refraction using trial lenses and a standard visual acuity protocol to results from autorefraction for obtaining refractive error and best corrected visual acuity in patients enrolled in a randomized clinical trial. Methods. During a 4-month period, 29 patients with subfoveal choroidal neovascularization (CNV), who were enrolled in the Submacular Surgery Trials (SSTs) Pilot Study at the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, gave verbal consent to participate in this study. Best corrected visual acuity was obtained using Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) visual acuity charts and standardized room lighting after performance of manifest refraction, according to the SST protocol, and autorefraction. Refractive error (spherical equivalent) and visual acuity scores were obtained in both eyes of all patients. Results. On average, manifest refraction gave a spherical equivalent that was 1.04 D more plus than autorefraction (95% limits of agreement = 0.74, 1.34). On average, the visual acuity score was 1.5 letters better after manifest refraction than after autorefraction (95% limits of agreement = 0, 3.0). The comparison of the two methods of refraction was subdivided according to visual acuity level and eye disease (age-related macular degeneration or ocular histoplasmosis syndrome). Conclusions. Despite large differences in spherical equivalent between manifest refraction and autorefraction, the visual acuity scores were close (mean difference, 1.5 letters). Other studies comparing subjective refraction and autorefraction have shown similar results. Autorefraction in patients with subfoveal CNV may be a satisfactory alternative to manifest refraction in clinical trials and field studies in which best corrected visual acuity is of interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-452
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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