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Márta Janáky, Andrea Pálffy, Andrea Deák, Mónika Szilágyi, György Benedek; Multifocal ERG Reveals Several Patterns of Cone Degeneration in Retinitis Pigmentosa with Concentric Narrowing of the Visual Field. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(1):383-389. doi: 10.1167/iovs.06-0661.
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purpose. To analyze multifocal ERGs (mfERGs) in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), with constricted visual fields and visual acuity satisfactory for steady fixation.
methods. The mfERGs of 86 eyes of 43 patients with various forms of inheritance and durations of RP were analyzed. A retinal scanning system with a 20-in. monitor was used to map central cone function. Electrical signals of the retina were detected by using DTL fiber electrodes.
results. The site of the best response density of the mfERGs in the patients with RP was found in a central or eccentric position of the trace array. Depending on the position of the best response density in the two eyes, the patients were categorized into three groups. In the first group, the best response density was recorded from the central hexagon in both eyes, producing a central peak surrounded by very low responses in the three-dimensional presentation. In the second group of patients, the best responses were found to correspond to the central hexagon on only one side. In the fellow eye, however, the best response density appeared to be in an eccentric position. The patients in the third group did not present a central peak in the mfERG on either side. In scattered parts of the trace arrays, several acceptable responses were observed in all three groups that might represent patches of functioning retinal cone receptors.
conclusions. The results suggest highly variable central responses and groups of cones with preserved function in areas previously considered nonresponsive. The high variability of the central responses could be a result of variable foveal cone density, with differences in inheritance- and duration-related cone degeneration at the time of the examination. The authors stress the value of step-by-step analysis of the trace array of the mfERGs, which can reveal the still-functioning groups of cones.
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