Long-term Fluctuation of Relative Afferent Pupillary Defect in Subjects With Normal Visual Function

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      To determine whether the relative afferent pupillary defect (RAPD) remains constant over time in normal subjects.


      Seventeen normal subjects were tested with infrared pupillography and automated perimetry in four sessions over 3 years. The changes in RAPD and visual field asymmetry between testing sessions were compared.


      The range of RAPD was 0.0 to 0.3 log unit, and the difference in the mean deviation between the eyes on automated static perimetry was 0 to 3 dB. Eight subjects repeatedly had an RAPD in the same eye. There was no correlation between the RAPD and the visual field asymmetry at the same visit. Changes in the magnitude of the RAPD between any two sessions were typically small (median, 0.08 log unit; 25th percentile, 0.04 log unit; 75th percentile, 0.15 log unit).


      Some normal subjects may show a persistent but small RAPD in the absence of detectable pathologic disease. Therefore, an isolated RAPD in the range of 0.3 log unit that is not associated with any other significant historical or clinical finding should probably be considered benign.
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