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Performance of a Rapid Rarebit Central-Vision Test with Optic Neuropathies

Frisén, Lars

doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e318264f406
Original Articles

Purpose. Rarebit vision tests probe for gaps in the neuro-retinal receptive field matrix, using bright micro dots on a dark background. Previous reports have found central-vision rarebit tests useful for macular lesions. Their performance with lesions of the anterior visual pathways has not been explored.

Methods. Twenty-two subjects with optic nerve lesions of light to moderate severities were examined with a novel, self-contained rarebit test. Outcomes were contrasted with results of high-pass resolution perimetry and a threshold letter acuity test.

Results. The results of the three tests differed significantly from those of normal control subjects. There were no meaningful inter-test correlations. Analysis of receiver-operating characteristic curves revealed closely similar powers of discrimination. Mean test time for the rarebit test was 1:42 min, and for the other tests, it was approximately 5 min each.

Conclusions. The rarebit test appeared highly capable of detecting optic neuropathies and chiasmal lesions. Its simplicity and short test duration indicate a useful role in screening settings.



Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Received February 6, 2012; accepted June 5, 2012.

Lars Frisén Neuro-Ophthalmology Unit Blue Street 7:5, SU/S SE-413 45 Gothenburg Sweden e-mail:

© 2012 American Academy of Optometry