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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2009 Sep;247(9):1223-33. doi: 10.1007/s00417-009-1064-z. Epub 2009 Mar 17.

Effect of epigallocatechin-gallate on inner retinal function in ocular hypertension and glaucoma: a short-term study by pattern electroretinogram.

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Institute of Ophthalmology, Catholic University, Largo Francesco Vito 1, 00168 Rome, Italy.



Epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG) is a powerful antioxidant with suggested neuroprotective action. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of short-term supplementation of EGCG on inner retinal function in ocular hypertension (OHT) and open-angle glaucoma (OAG).


Eighteen OHT and 18 OAG patients (perimetric mean deviation: >-10 dB) were randomly assigned to assume oral placebo or EGCG over a 3-month period in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over design clinical trial ( identifier: NCT00476138). Pattern-evoked electroretinograms (PERGs) to 1.6 cycles/degree square-wave gratings, counterphased at 16 reversals/second, and standard automated perimetry (Humphrey 30-2) were assessed at the study entry (baseline), and after 3 months of placebo or EGCG.


After EGCG, PERGs of OAG, but not OHT patients were increased in amplitude, compared either to baseline values (mean amplitude change: 0.06 log microV, p < 0.05) or to PERG amplitude values found in the same patients after placebo administration (mean change: -0.02 log microV, p not significant; difference between EGCG and placebo: 0.08 log microV, p < 0.05). In both OHT and OAG patients, standard automated perimetry did not show significant changes after either EGCG or placebo. In individual OAG patients, the magnitude of PERG amplitude increment after EGCG was inversely related (r = -0.8, p < 0.01) to corresponding baseline amplitudes.


Although this study cannot provide evidence for long-term benefit of EGCG supplementation in OAG, and the observed effect is small, the results suggest that EGCG might favourably influence inner retinal function in eyes with early to moderately advanced glaucomatous damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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