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Purpose: To quantify the effect of cataract on color vision as measured by the low-vision Cambridge Colour Test (lvCCT; Cambridge Research Systems) and to understand whether different types and severities of cataract have different effects on color vision. Design: Cohort study. Participants: Patients aged 18 to 95 undergoing routine cataract surgery at the Oxford Eye Hospital. Methods: The lvCCT was performed to measure color sensitivity in both eyes both before and after surgery. The crystalline lens was examined and graded according to the Lens Opacities Classification System III to determine the type and severity of cataract. Measures of repeatability were performed for the data to explore test-retest bias using Bland-Altman analysis. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was performed to assess the effect of cataract on color vision by comparing control and surgical test measurements. Three multiple linear regressions were performed to relate cataract grading or severity to color vision measurements. Main Outcome Measures: Color discrimination along each of the protan, deutan, and tritan confusion lines. Results: The Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed a statistically significant difference in both the protan (P = 0.024) and tritan (P = 0.020) axes on comparison of control and surgical test measurements. As severity of cataract increased, color vision sensitivity was affected more greatly, and nuclear sclerotic cataract showed the most profound effect on color vision sensitivity in the lvCCT; however, the linear regression models showed that these observations did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: Cataract surgery has a statistically significant effect on color vision in both the protan and tritan axes. The effects of specific subtypes of cataract and different severities could not be elucidated because of the high prevalence of patients with mixed cataract. The lvCCT color sensitivity measurements are used regularly as outcome measures in clinical gene therapy trials involving vitreoretinal surgery, and vitrectomy accelerates cataract formation. Therefore, it is important to quantify the effect of cataract on color vision measurements so that it may be taken into account when used as an outcome measure in clinical trials. We were unable to derive a precise correction factor for cataract on color vision measurements.

Original publication




Journal article


Ophthalmol Sci

Publication Date





CCT, Cambridge Colour Test, CI, confidence interval, Cambridge colour text, Cataract, Color vision, Cones, Outcome measure, lvCCT, low-vision Cambridge Color Test