Compartmental differences in macular retinal ganglion cell function

Diego Alba, Amy M. Huang, Shiva Roghaee, Akil Hinds, Maja Kostic, Tsung Han Chou, Vittorio Porciatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate local differences of macular retinal ganglion cell (RGC) function by means of the steady-state pattern electroretinogram (SS-PERG). Methods: SS-PERGs were recorded in healthy subjects (n = 43) in response to gratings (1.6 c/deg, 15.63 reversals/s, and 98% contrast) presented on an LED display (800 cd/m2, 12.5 degrees eccentricity at 30 cm viewing distance) partitioned in triangular sectors (inferior [I]; nasal [N]; superior [S]; and temporal [T]) or concentric regions (central [C] and annulus [A]). For each partition, response amplitude (nV), amplitude adaptation (% change over recording time), phase/latency (deg/ms), and oscillatory potentials (OPs) amplitude (root mean square [RMS] nV) were measured. Data were analyzed with Gener-alized Estimating Equation (GEE) statistics. Results: Amplitude differed (P < 0.001) between sectors (I: 254 nV; N: 328 nV; S: 275 nV; T: 264 nV; and N>T, I) as well as concentrically (C: 684 nV; A: 323 nV; and C>A). Latency did not differ between sectors (range = 53–54 ms, P = 0.45) or concentrically (range = 51–51 ms, P = 0.7). Adaptation did not differ (P = 0.66) concentrically (C: −19% and A: −22%) but differed (P = 0.004) between sectors (I: +25% and S: −29%). The OP amplitude did not differ (P = 0.5) between sectors (range = 63–73 nV) as well as concentrically (range = 82–90 nV, P = 0.3). Conclusions: Amplitude profiles paralleled RGC densities from histological studies. Adaptation profile suggested greater autoregulatory challenge in the inferior retina. Latency profile may reflect axonal conduction time to the optic nerve head assuming a direct relationship between axon length and its size/velocity. Location-independent OPs may reflect preganglionic activity. Translational Relevance: Normal macular RGC function displays local differences that may be related to local vulnerability in optic nerve disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number28
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • Macula
  • Pattern electroretinogram
  • Retinal ganglion cell function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Ophthalmology


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