The pattern electroretinogram (PERG) after laser treatment of the peripheral or central retina

Pio Ciavarella, Giuseppe Moretti, Benedetto Falsini, Vittorio Porciatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose. To understand whether laser photocoagulation of the retina for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy (DR) alters directly or indirectly the function of the macular region. Methods. Transient pattern electroretinograms (PERGs) to 30' checks have been recorded in DR patients before and 7-10 days after one treatment session (established protocol with Argon laser) of either the peripheral retina (panretinal treatment) or the centrad retina (paramacular focal treatment). Results. Treatment of the peripheral retina causes, in most eyes, a small increase (about 15% on average) of the PERG amplitude. Focal paramacular treatment causes a marked decrement (about 40% on average) of the PERG amplitude. Simulated retinal amputation induced by focal treatment, obtained by means of adequate stimulus masking, resulted in a 15-20% PERG decrement only. Conclusions. The PERG increase after peripheral treatment may be due to rearrangement of both retinal and choroideal hemodynamics and does not necessarily result in useful long term changes. The PERG decrease after focal, paramacular treatment is far larger than that expected on the basis of the amputated area only. This may result from thermal and/or toxic damaging effects spreading outside the treated area. The results are relevant for both a better monitoring of central retinal function in the course of laser treatment and a better evaluation of the cost/benefit ratio after photocoagulation in DR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-115
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Human
  • Laser photocoagulation
  • Pattern electroretinogram (PERG)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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