ERGs, cone-isolating VEPs and analytical techniques in children with cone dysfunction syndromes

Doc Ophthalmol. 2003 May;106(3):289-304. doi: 10.1023/a:1022909328103.


Photoreceptor and post-receptoral function in children with congenital and acquired cone disorders was measured by full-field electroretinogram (ERG) and transient visual evoked potentials (VEPs). Subjects were five rod monochromats (RM), five with cone dystrophy (CD), and 30 controls. Patients were diagnosed by clinical findings, ERGs, and standard color vision tests. VEP stimuli were check reversals and color grating onsets that stimulated each photoreceptor type (L-, M-, or S-cones) or post-receptoral pathways (L-M, white/black). VEP signal-to-noise ratios (S/N) were calculated by Fourier analysis of VEP epochs. All RM patients showed extinguished cone ERGs. A near normal S-cone VEP was recorded from a blue-cone rod monochromat without any signal from the L- or M-cone stimuli. Two other RM patients were classified as incomplete RM based on a low-level VEP signal from either L- or M-cone stimuli. CD patients had mildly to severely reduced ERGs and VEPs were abnormal to all cone-isolating stimuli. The VEP S/N ratio was not significantly correlated with the amount of rod contrast in the color stimuli. Color VEPs provide an objective assessment of macular cone function in children with cone dysfunction syndromes that is more sensitive to residual central cone function than standard full-field ERGs. VEP techniques may be useful in the early detection of cone loss in children, especially in children who do not tolerate ERG testing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Color Perception Tests
  • Color Vision Defects / diagnosis
  • Color Vision Defects / physiopathology*
  • Electroretinography / methods*
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Retinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Retinal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Syndrome