Clinical applications of multifocal electroretinography

Doc Ophthalmol. 2000;100(2-3):99-113. doi: 10.1023/a:1002775518141.


The multifocal ERG using the m-sequence stimulation technique allows the derivation of 61 - 241 local ERG signals in a central visual field of about 60 degree diameter in a short time between 4 and 16 min. A recording in a light adapted state offers local information comparable to cone responses in the full-field ERG. Retinal functional losses due to regional disorders in outer retinal layers can be described in detail with this technique. In maculopathies decreased or absent central ERGs are found surrounded by normal ERG. The extent of the central lesion can be estimated. In diseases of the outer retina the pattern of distribution of multifocal ERG activity is similar to the the pattern of the visual field defect. In addition to decreased ERG amplitudes a delay of implicit time may be an important sign of pathology, i.e. the pronounced delay of implicit times in the periphery in retinitis pigmentosa and the implicit time delays in regions associated with retinal edema like CRVO and cystoid macula edema in intermediate uveitis. No simple correlation of the first order kernel multifocal ERG and field defects could be found in disorders of the ganglion cell layer. The multifocal ERG is therefore useful in the differential diagnosis of retinal and optic nerve diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diabetic Retinopathy / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / physiopathology*
  • Electroretinography / methods*
  • Humans
  • Optic Atrophy / diagnosis
  • Optic Atrophy / physiopathology*
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate / physiology*
  • Retinal Degeneration / diagnosis
  • Retinal Degeneration / physiopathology*
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology
  • Visual Fields
  • Visual Pathways / physiopathology