The pattern electroretinogram (PERG) has recently been introduced as a clinical procedure. It has been thought by many to represent activity of the retinal ganglion cells, although this is still a matter of contention. The exciting prospect of a selective test of ganglion cell function led to the application of the PERG in a variety of ophthalmological conditions. In the course of these investigations the PERG was found to be diminished in cases of maculopathy, optic atrophy, optic neuritis, toxic optic neuropathy, neurotransmitter disorders, glaucoma and ocular hypertension and in retinal vascular disorders such as diabetes. It was also affected in some cases of amblyopia. This paper briefly describes the techniques used to record the PERG and reviews current literature pertaining to its clinical application.