Spatial cone activity distribution in diseases of the posterior pole determined by multifocal electroretinography

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Thirty patients with a reduced central vision due to diseases of the posterior pole were examined with the VERIS system developed by Sutter and Tran to characterize the topography of electroretinographic (ERG) changes in comparison to the results in 30 normal volunteers. Diagnoses included Stargardt's macular dystrophy (SMD, n = 10), age-related macular degeneration (AMD, n = 5), cone dystrophy (CD, n = 5), central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO, n = 5), and autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA, n = 5). The 61 local responses obtained from each subject were grouped by eccentricity to form five concentric rings. The foveal ERG, originating from a central area of 2°radius, was non-recordable or markedly diminished in all patients except those with optic atrophy, where amplitudes were found to be in the normal range. In patients with advanced stages of SMD, functional defects were larger and involved more peripheral areas than in patients with early stages of SMD or with AMD. A reduction of response amplitude even in the most peripheral ring (17-30.5°eccentricity) was found in cone dystrophies and - moderately - in patients with advanced SMD and central retinal vein occlusion only. Prolonged implicit times were found in all but the patients in early stages of SMD and they were maximal in patients with CRVO. This study shows that the multifocal ERG (MFERG) can contribute to differential diagnosis of retinal diseases of the posterior pole especially in cases with a normal photopic Ganzfeld ERG.




Kretschmann, U., Seeliger, M., Ruether, K., Usui, T., & Zrenner, E. (1998). Spatial cone activity distribution in diseases of the posterior pole determined by multifocal electroretinography. Vision Research, 38(23), 3817–3828.

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