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Color discrimination assessment in patients with hypothyroidism using the Farnsworth–Munsell 100 hue test

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Abstract

There is evidence in the literature that hypofunction of the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) affects color vision in rodents by influencing the production of the visual pigment opsin. The effect of hypothyroidism on color vision in humans has not been examined in any great detail. In this cross-sectional study we evaluated color discrimination using the Farnsworth–Munsell 100 hue test (FM-100 test) in 25 individuals with pre-treatment hypothyroidism (mean age ${38}\;{\pm }\;{9}.{2}\;\text{yr}$), and a control euthyroid group, ${ n} ={26}$ (mean age ${39.6}\;{\pm }\;{8}.{4}\;\text{yr}$). There was no statistically significant difference in the total error score ($\surd{\text{TES}}$) between the groups, but the hypothyroid group had a significantly greater partial error score ($\surd{\text{PES}}$) along the blue-yellow (B-Y) axis compared to the red-green (R-G) axis. No statistically significant differences in B-Y and R-G PES were observed in the control group. This study shows that hypothyroidism affects color vision in humans, causing significant impairment in the B-Y color subsystem.

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