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The effects of glaucoma on the latency of the multifocal visual evoked potential

Abstract

Aims: To determine the effect of glaucomatous damage on the latency of the multifocal visual evoked potential (mfVEP).

Methods: Monocular mfVEPs were recorded from a glaucoma group (n = 50) defined by a glaucomatous disc and an abnormal visual field and a control group (n = 47). 25 patients were characterised as normal tension glaucoma (NTG) and 25 as high tension glaucoma (HTG). Monocular and interocular latency analyses of the more affected eye were obtained using custom software.

Results: On interocular analysis, both the HTG and NTG groups showed a statistically significant increase in mean mfVEP latency with average relative latencies and percentage of points with significant delays of 1.7 ms and 10.3% (HTG) and 1.3 ms and 8.2% (NTG) compared to −0.3 ms and 2.7% (controls). On monocular analysis, only the HTG group showed a significant increase in latency with measures of 5.7 ms and 14.6% (HTG) compared to 3.2 ms and 10.6% (NTG) and 2.1 ms and 9.6% (controls). Using the 95th percentile of a normative group as the cut off, the sensitivity ranged from 20% to 38% and the specificity from 87% to 100% with the interocular analysis providing the best discrimination,

Conclusion: Although up to 40% of patients showed delays in the mfVEP latency, these delays were modest, on average a few milliseconds. These results differ markedly from those of a recent conventional VEP study, which reported 100% sensitivity, 100% specificity, and an average delay that exceeded 25 ms.

  • cVEP, conventional visual evoked potentials
  • GHT, glaucoma hemifield test
  • HTG, high tension glaucoma
  • HVF, Humphrey visual field
  • MD, mean deviation
  • mfVEP, multifocal visual evoked potential
  • NTG, normal tension glaucoma
  • VEP, visual evoked potential
  • glaucoma
  • visual evoked potential
  • multifocal latency
  • cVEP, conventional visual evoked potentials
  • GHT, glaucoma hemifield test
  • HTG, high tension glaucoma
  • HVF, Humphrey visual field
  • MD, mean deviation
  • mfVEP, multifocal visual evoked potential
  • NTG, normal tension glaucoma
  • VEP, visual evoked potential
  • glaucoma
  • visual evoked potential
  • multifocal latency

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