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March 1988

The Flight-of-Colors Test in Multiple Sclerosis-Reply

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurology Baylor College of Medicine 6501 Fannin, MB 302 Houston, TX 77030

Arch Neurol. 1988;45(3):243. doi:10.1001/archneur.1988.00520270013004

In Reply.  —I appreciate Dr Sechi sharing his experience with the flight-of-colors test and providing an opportunity to focus attention on this useful but little-known test of optic nerve dysfunction. The flight-of-colors test is the series of different-colored after-images perceived when a bright light briefly strikes the eye. These normal afterimages are impaired in diseases that disturb central vision, including optic neuritis. Dr Sechi and colleagues1 performed the test after subjects had become dark-adapted, repeating each test twice with ten-minute rests between trials. His results support the usefulness of flight-of-colors testing for diagnosing optic neuritis in patients with multiple sclerosis, but the technique is too time-consuming for routine bedside use. In my study,2 a disposable pocket flashlight was shone in each eye for ten seconds in ambient hospital light, and an abnormal result recorded unless the subject perceived at least two different colors within one minute. When performed in this

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