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The large-deviation-based asymptotic-analysis and importance-sampling methods for computing bit-error probabilities for avalanche-photodiode (APD) based optical receivers, developed by Letaief and Sadowsky [IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory, vol. 38, pp. 1162-1169, 1992], are extended to include the effect of dead space, which is significant in high-speed APDs with thin multiplication regions. It is shown that the receiver's bit-error probability is reduced as the magnitude of dead space increases relative to the APD's multiplication-region width. The calculated error probabilities and receiver sensitivities are also compared with those obtained from the Chernoff bound.