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Alison M. Binns, Tom H. Margrain; Evaluating Retinal Function in Age-Related Maculopathy with the ERG Photostress Test. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(6):2806-2813. doi: 10.1167/iovs.06-0392.
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purpose. To evaluate the diagnostic potential of the electroretinogram (ERG) photostress test and the focal cone ERG in age-related maculopathy (ARM).
methods. The cohort comprised 31 patients with ARM and 27 age-matched control subjects. The ERG photostress test was used to monitor cone adaptation after intense light adaptation. Focal 41- and 5-Hz cone ERGs were recorded monocularly (central 20°) to assess steady state retinal function. Univariate analysis identified electrophysiological parameters that differed between groups, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed to assess their diagnostic potential. Logistic regression analysis determined the diagnostic potential of a model incorporating several independent predictors of ARM.
results. The rate of recovery of the ERG photostress test was reduced (recovery was slower) in subjects with ARM. The parameter exhibited good diagnostic potential (P = 0.002, area under ROC curve = 0.74). The implicit times of the 5-Hz (a-wave, P = 0.002; b-wave, P < 0.001) and the 41-Hz (P < 0.001) focal cone ERGs were increased, and the 41-Hz focal cone ERG amplitude (P = 0.003) and focal to full-field amplitude ratio (P = 0.001) were reduced in the ARM group. Logistic regression analysis identified three independent predictors of ARM, including the rate of recovery of the ERG photostress test.
conclusions. Early ARM has a marked effect on the kinetics of cone adaptation. The clinical application of the ERG photostress test increases the sensitivity and specificity of a model for the diagnosis of ARM. Improved assessment of the functional integrity of the central retina will facilitate early diagnosis and evaluation of therapeutic interventions.
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