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J. Jason McAnany, Jason C. Park; Temporal Frequency Abnormalities in Early-Stage Diabetic Retinopathy Assessed by Electroretinography. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(12):4871-4879. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.18-25199.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To define the nature and extent of temporal frequency abnormalities in diabetics who have mild or no nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) by using the flicker electroretinogram (ERG).
Light-adapted flicker ERGs were recorded from 20 diabetics who have no clinically apparent retinopathy, 20 diabetics who have mild NPDR, and 20 nondiabetic, age-equivalent controls. ERGs were elicited by full-field sinusoidal flicker across the temporal frequency range of 6 to 100 Hz and were recorded using conventional techniques. The amplitude and phase of the fundamental and harmonic response components were derived by Fourier analysis and compared among the groups.
Analysis of variance indicated that compared with the controls, both patient groups had significant amplitude reductions of the fundamental ERG component for temporal frequencies greater than 56 Hz (all P ≤ 0.03). Modeling the amplitude measurements indicated that both patient groups had significant reductions in the high-frequency response cutoff. Response phase, however, did not differ significantly among the groups at any frequency. The amplitude and phase of the high-frequency harmonics (32–96 Hz) of the patients' responses to a low-frequency stimulus (16 Hz) were normal over the temporal frequency range that the fundamental response was abnormal.
Taken together, the diabetics' fundamental amplitude attenuation for rapid flicker combined with their normal high-frequency harmonic responses generated by slow flicker suggest that the likely site of the abnormal temporal filtering occurs prior to the nonlinearity that generates the harmonic components of the ERG, implicating a photoreceptor origin.
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