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Doc Ophthalmol. 2000;100(2-3):231-51.

Effects of experimental glaucoma in macaques on the multifocal ERG. Multifocal ERG in laser-induced glaucoma.

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College of Optometry, University of Houston, TX 77204-6052, USA.


Multifocal ERGs (MERGs) of 5 adult monkeys (Macaca mulatta) with inner retinal defects caused by laser-induced glaucoma were compared to MERGs from 3 monkeys with inner retinal activity suppressed pharmacologically. MERGs were recorded with DTL fiber electrodes from anesthetized monkeys. Stimuli consisted of 103 equal size hexagons within 17 degrees of the fovea. Stimuli at each location passed through a typical VERIS m-sequence of white (200 cd/m2) and black (12 cd/m2) presentations. In animals with laser-induced glaucoma, visual field sensitivity was assessed by static perimetry using the Humphrey C24-2 full-threshold program modified for animal behavior. Inner retinal (amacrine and ganglion cell) activity was suppressed by intravitreal injection of TTX (4.7-7.6 microM) and NMDA (1.6-5 mM). In normal eyes the first order response (1st order kernel) was larger and more complex, with more distinct oscillations (>60 Hz) in central than in peripheral locations. The 2nd order kernel also was dominated by oscillatory activity. There were naso-temporal variations in both kernels. Pharmacological suppression of inner retinal activity reduced or eliminated the oscillatory behavior, and naso-temporal variations. The 1st order kernel amplitude was increased most and was largest at the fovea. Removed inner retinal responses also were largest at the fovea. The 2nd order kernel was greatly reduced at all locations. In eyes with advanced glaucoma, the effects were similar to those produced by suppressing inner retinal activity, but the later portion of the 1st order kernel waveform was different, lacking a dip after the large positive wave. Visual sensitivity losses and MERG changes both increased over the timecourse of glaucoma, with changes in the MERG being more diffusely distributed across the visual field. We conclude that 1st and 2nd order responses of the primate MERG can be identified that originate from inner retina and are sensitive indicators of glaucomatous neuropathy.

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