Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

PURPOSE: The measurement of standard visual acuity (VA) is the most well-known part of any ophthalmic examination to indicate visual function. Despite this, it is insensitive in detecting early disease changes. Therefore, other visual function tests have been developed including low luminance VA (LLVA) and low luminance deficit (LLD). This scoping literature review aims to summarise the current published applications of LLVA and LLD assessments to evaluate their utility as clinical markers and research outcome measures in a variety of ophthalmic conditions. RECENT FINDINGS: Sixty-five peer-reviewed publications were included. LLVA was pioneered for use in geographic atrophy, a subtype of age-related macular degeneration, which remains the mainstay of its clinical application. However, other studies have reported additional useful applications in inherited retinal diseases including rare maculopathies and rod-cone dystrophies. Although there are some variations in testing methodology, use of the standard Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) chart with a 2.0 log unit neutral density filter is the most popular approach. The optimal testing luminance is still to be defined. SUMMARY: Overall, LLVA is an earlier clinical marker of change in central retinal function than standard VA. It has been shown to be a risk factor for disease progression and a better indicator of a patient's level of everyday visual function. It is inexpensive and simple to implement using readily available standard ophthalmic equipment.

Original publication




Journal article


Ophthalmic Physiol Opt

Publication Date



low light visual acuity, low luminance deficit, low luminance visual acuity, mesopic vision, mesopic visual acuity