Spatial frequency-selective losses with pattern electroretinogram in Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients without retinopathy

M. A S Di Leo, B. Falsini, S. Caputo, G. Ghirlanda, Vittorio Porciatti, A. V. Greco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


Neurosensory abnormalities have been implicated in the first stages of diabetic retinopathy. The activity of retinal ganglion cells in 24 Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients with short disease duration without retinopathy on fluorescein angiography was investigated by using a pattern electroretinogram in response to sinusoidal gratings of different spatial frequencies (0.6, 1.0, 1.4, 2.2, 4.8 cycles/deg), counterphase modulated at 8 Hz. The pattern electroretinogram reflects, at least in part, the activity of subsets of generators (i. e., ganglion cells) which show spatial selectivity. Mean pattern electroretinogram amplitude was significantly reduced in patients at lower and intermediate, but not at higher spatial frequencies compared with 40 agematched control subjects. At 1.4 cycles/deg the pattern electroretinogram amplitude was significantly correlated (r=0.59) with age at onset (p=0.002) and duration of disease (p=0.002). Our results suggest that in Type 1 diabetic patients without retinopathy, there is an early sensory deficit of specific inner retina neurons which respond preferentially to gratings of medium and large size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-730
Number of pages5
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1990
Externally publishedYes



  • diabetic retinopathy
  • ganglion cells
  • pattern electroretinogram
  • Retinal function
  • spatial frequency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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