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Arch Ophthalmol. 1987 May;105(5):660-4.

Temporal aspects of the electroretinogram in diabetic retinopathy.


We measured the temporal aspects of several components of the electroretinogram in 72 patients with diabetes and 29 control subjects. The measurements consisted of the implicit times of the a wave and oscillatory potentials elicited by a bright-flash stimulus and the implicit time of the b wave in response to a 30-Hz flickering light. The a wave and first three oscillatory potential nodes were significantly delayed in the patients with diabetes compared with the controls; among the diabetics, a significant increase in the delay of the second and third nodes occurred as a function of increasing retinopathy severity. Similarly, the 30-Hz flicker implicit times (with and without a background light) were significantly delayed in patients with diabetes, and the magnitude of the delay increased with increasing retinopathy severity. The correlations of 30-Hz flicker implicit times with retinopathy severity were significant for retinopathy level graded in color fundus photographs as well as for retinal capillary nonperfusion and leakage graded in fluorescein angiograms. A comparison of 30-Hz flicker implicit times in 15 patients with one eye treated with panretinal laser photocoagulation and the other eye untreated (treatment was randomly assigned) showed a significant delay in the treated eyes compared with the untreated eyes (paired eye comparison). This suggests that panretinal laser photocoagulation induces a further delay in the b-wave implicit times of eyes treated for diabetic retinopathy.

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