BACKGROUND: The steady-state pattern electroretinogram (PERG) is a sensitive measure of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) function that includes within-test progressive changes-adaptation-reflecting RGC autoregulatory dynamics. Comprehensive PERG assessment in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) (with or without optic neuritis [ON]) may provide unique information about RGC dysfunction and its progression, as well as a comparison between functional loss and structural loss as measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT). The goal of this project was to measure steady-state PERG components and their associations with intraretinal layer thicknesses in MS. METHODS: One hundred forty eyes of 70 patients with relapsing-remitting MS and 126 eyes of 63 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects (HC) were investigated using a new-generation PERG method and ultrahigh-resolution OCT. Of MS eyes, there were 30 eyes with ON (MSON), 22 non-ON fellow eyes (MSFE), and 88 non-ON MS eyes (MSNON). PERG amplitude, phase (latency), and adaptation of amplitude and phase were measured and correlated with OCT-determined thicknesses of intraretinal layers. RESULTS: The average PERG amplitude in MSON eyes was significantly lower than MSFE (P = 0.007), MSNON (P = 0.002), and HC (P < 0.001). The PERG amplitude in MSFE eyes was also significantly lower than HC (P = 0.039). The PERG latency in MSON eyes was significantly shorter than in MSFE (P = 0.001), MSNON (P = 0.002), and HC (P < 0.001). The PERG latency in MSFE (P = 0.007) and MSNON (P = 0.002) was significantly shorter than in HC. However, no significant differences were found between MSFE and MSNON (P > 0.05). PERG adaptation of amplitude in MSON was significantly lower than that in MSNON (P = 0.039) and HC (P = 0.037). Both the amplitude and latency in the MS eyes were significantly correlated with the thicknesses of the macular retinal nerve fiber layer (mRNFL) and ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GCIPL). CONCLUSIONS: Shortened PERG latency and impaired autoregulatory dynamics occurred in MS, suggesting preferential dysfunction of small, slower RGC axons and decreased ability of RGC to autoregulate their gain in response to PERG stimulus. The established relations of PERG measurements with intraretinal thickness measurements suggested that PERG losses were primarily associated with GCIPL and mRNFL thinning.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of neuro-ophthalmology : the official journal of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society|
|State||Published - Mar 1 2021|
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