Visual performance using a retinal prosthesis in three subjects with retinitis pigmentosa

American Journal of Ophthalmology
Douglas YanaiMark S Humayun


To assess visual task performance in three blind subjects implanted with epiretinal prostheses. Prospective, investigational device exemption trial. Three subjects with light perception or no light perception vision were enrolled at a single center. All subjects had retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Main inclusion criteria: light perception or worse vision in one eye and some visual experience as an adult before blindness. Main exclusion criteria included other ophthalmic problems. A prototype retinal prosthesis was implanted in the eye with worse light sensitivity. The prosthesis had 4 x 4 array of platinum electrodes tacked to the epiretinal surface. The prosthesis was wirelessly controlled by a computer or by a head-worn video camera. Visual function testing was performed in single masked or double masked fashion. Scores from the visual task were compared to chance to determine statistical significance. The subjects performed significantly better than chance in 83% of the tests. Using the video camera, subjects scored as follows on simple visual tasks: locate and count objects (77% to 100%), differentiate three objects (63% to 73%), determine the orientation of a capital L (50% to 77%), and differentiate four directions of a moving...Continue Reading


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