Multifocal pattern electroretinogram: cellular origins and clinical implications.Optom Vis Sci. 2006 Jul; 83(7):473-85.OV
The purposes of this article are to gain insight into the cellular origins of the multifocal pattern electroretinogram (mPERG) and evaluate its potential for clinical use.
mPERGs were recorded from four anesthetized monkeys before and after pharmacologic blockade of light-driven activity of inner-retinal neurons and from 55 normal human subjects (19-91 years) and six patients with glaucoma (43-77 years of age). Stimuli consisted of counterphase-modulated black and white triangles organized in 61-scaled hexagons with mean luminance 100 cd/m2 and 100% contrast. The stimulus array subtended 31 degrees vertically and 37 degrees horizontally at 48 cm. The amplifier cutoff frequencies were 3 and 100 Hz. Responses were grouped as quadrants and the first slice of the second-order kernel was analyzed.
The mPERG responses of monkeys and humans were similar. In the monkey responses, there was an early positive potential (P1) around 25 ms and a later positive potential (P2) found selectively in the nasal field quadrants around 31 ms. These responses were seen around 22 and 36 ms in the human responses. After blockade of inner-retinal activity in monkeys, P1 amplitude was greatly reduced at all retinal locations and P2 was eliminated. P1 and P2 amplitudes were significantly reduced in the glaucomatous eyes relative to amplitudes of age-matched controls. Reductions in the amplitudes of P1 and P2 could easily discriminate between glaucomatous visual field quadrants with and without behavioral sensitivity losses. However, these alterations are likely to reflect diffuse losses.
mPERG responses contain prominent contributions from inner-retinal neurons that can be reduced in glaucomatous eyes. These findings raise the possibility that the mPERG could be potentially useful in the objective estimation of neural damage in glaucoma. However, further refinement of recording techniques will be required if the mPERG is to be used to detect focal damage.