purpose. Wavefront sensors provide quite useful information on the optical quality of the eye. However, in eyes where very high-order aberrations and scattered light are prominent, wavefront sensors may overestimate retinal image quality. This study showed that, in those cases, the double-pass technique is a complementary tool for better estimation of ocular optical quality.
methods. A double-pass (DP) instrument was used, based on recording images of a point source in near-infrared light after reflection in the retina and double-pass through the ocular media. The aberrations were also measured with a prototype of near-infrared Hartmann-Shack (HS) wavefront sensor adapted to the clinical environment. From the wave aberrations, the modulation transfer function (MTF) was calculated (MTF_HS). The MTF was also obtained from the double-pass images (MTF_DP). Both techniques were applied in normal young subjects as the control and in three other groups of eyes: older subjects, after LASIK refractive surgery, and after IOL implantation.
results. The MTFs obtained from DP and HS techniques were compared. In the group of normal eyes with low levels of intraocular scattering, these estimates were quite similar, indicating that both techniques captured well most of the optical degradation. However, in eyes where scatter was more predominant (e.g., early cataract, posterior capsular opacification after IOL implantation) the MTF provided by the HS sensor was always higher than the MTF obtained from DP. A single parameter was used to indicate the differences.
conclusions. In eyes with low scattering, DP and HS techniques provided similar estimates of the retinal image quality. However, in a patient’s eye with mild to severe amount of scatter, wavefront sensors might overestimate image quality, whereas the DP technique produces a more accurate description of the optical quality, better correlated with the quality of vision.