The Cambridge Low Contrast Gratings (CLCG) were used to assess contrast sensitivity (CS) in 39 patients with clinically definite multiple sclerosis and 60 control subjects. CS was determined in both horizontal and vertical orientations and compared with visual evoked responses (VERs) in the same populations. Only 33% of patients had abnormal CS whereas 82% had abnormal VERs. There was no correlation between the degree of abnormalities in CS and VERs. There was no significant difference between CS determined in the vertical and horizontal orientation; however, examination in the vertical orientation increased the number of abnormalities detected by 2 (5%). We conclude that although CS, using the CLCG, is abnormal in a proportion of multiple sclerosis patients its detection is not clinically useful and is insensitive as a measure of subclinical optic neuropathy in multiple sclerosis.
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