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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006 Dec;47(12):5331-6.

A comparison between multifocal and conventional VEP latency changes secondary to glaucomatous damage.

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Department of Ophthalmology, The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, New York, New York, USA.



To compare latencies of conventional visual evoked potentials (cVEPs) and multifocal VEPs (mfVEPs) in the same patients. Previous reports of prolonged cVEP latency suggest a vehicle for detecting abnormal ganglion cells and for monitoring neuroprotection.


Seventy-five glaucomatous eyes (47 patients), 75 eyes with suspected glaucoma (46 patients), and 41 control eyes (22 subjects) underwent achromatic automated perimetry and mfVEP and cVEP testing. The mfVEP stimulus was a scaled dart board with 60 sectors; each sector was a pattern-reversing checkerboard. The cVEP stimulus was a reversing checkerboard with checks of either 15 minutes or 60 minutes in width.


Relatively few glaucomatous eyes had latencies that fell outside the range of control eyes, and there was little difference between the cVEP and mfVEP results. In the glaucoma group, 12.3% (15 minutes cVEP), 8% (60 minutes cVEP), and 17.3% (mfVEP) of the eyes and 5.3% (15 minutes cVEP), 6.7% (60 minutes cVEP), and 5.3% (mfVEP) of the suspect eyes exceeded the normal range. The glaucomatous eyes had, on average, relatively small increases in latency, compared with the control or suspect groups. Further, the latency of both the mfVEP and cVEP bore no obvious relationship to the mean deviation of the visual field.


Contrary to previous reports, prolonged VEP delays were present in a minority of patients with glaucoma. Either a delayed VEP is not a good indicator of damaged, as opposed to dead, retinal ganglion cells, or there are relatively few patients who exhibit evidence of damaged ganglion cells.

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