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Mirella Telles Salgueiro Barboni, Balázs Vince Nagy, Ana Laura de Araújo Moura, Francisco Max Damico, Marcelo Fernandes da Costa, Jan Kremers, Dora Fix Ventura; ON and OFF Electroretinography and Contrast Sensitivity in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(5):3195-3204. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.13-11700.
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The study investigated possible asymmetric dysfunction of the ON and OFF visual mechanisms in DMD (Duchenne muscular dystrophy) patients associated with specific genetic alterations.
Nineteen DMD patients and 7 heterozygous DMD carriers were tested, as well as 19 age-matched controls. Full-field ERGs were recorded using mesopic (1 cd/m2) and photopic (250 cd/m2) sawtooth luminance modulations as stimuli: rapid increase and ramping decrease (to isolate ON responses) or rapid decrease and ramping increase (for OFF responses). In addition, a psychophysical study comprised contrast sensitivity tests using two checkerboard stimuli at either higher (ON) or lower (OFF) luminance relative to the background: 0.3 cycles per degree (cpd) presented for 33 ms (low spatial frequency, short duration) and 2 cpd presented for 1500 ms (high spatial frequency, long duration).
A significant ERG amplitude reduction, relative to controls, was detected in the DMD patients in the mesopic positive peaks for both ON and OFF stimuli, as well as for the photopic ON stimulus (P < 0.05). Contrast sensitivity was significantly lower in the DMD patients (P < 0.05) relative to controls for the ON stimuli. Neither the ERG nor the contrast sensitivities were altered in the carriers.
This study suggests that there are ON and OFF ERG alterations when both rods and cones contribute to the ERG responses in DMD patients. When only cones are activated there is an asymmetrical ERG alteration, also revealed by the contrast sensitivity measurements.
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