Electroretinogram abnormalities in nonanterior childhood uveitis

Acta Ophthalmol. 2019 Jun;97(4):372-377. doi: 10.1111/aos.13923. Epub 2018 Sep 14.


Purpose: A major point of concern in uveitis is the development of irreversible retinal changes after inflammation. In this study, we assess how nonanterior childhood uveitis affects retinal function using full-field electroretinography (ERG).

Methods: Cross-sectional study. ERGs of 63 uveitis eyes (33 children) were measured according to extended International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision (ISCEV) protocols. ERG abnormalities were investigated in relation to the following clinical parameters: demographics, uveitis characteristics, including severity of inflammation, treatment, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), cystoid macular oedema (CME) on optical coherence tomography and fluorescein angiography score.

Results: The ERG showed abnormalities in 34 eyes (54%). The most frequent ERG abnormalities were prolonged implicit times of the cone b-wave (37%; n = 23/63) and an abnormal 30-Hz flicker response (implicit time and/or amplitude) (33%; n = 21/63). Factors associated with these ERG abnormalities were CME (p = 0.021) and 3+ vitreous cells (p = 0.021). BCVA in eyes with and without these ERG abnormalities did not statistically differ and was relatively good (median: 0.05 LogMAR, IQR: 0.00-0.15 LogMAR).

Conclusion: The ERG is frequently affected in childhood uveitis indicating a global retinal dysfunction. ERG abnormalities seem to be associated with a more severe posterior segment inflammation and a younger age. If an association between ERG abnormalities and long-term visual outcome can be made in the future, these early ERG findings during the course of childhood uveitis have significance for treatment strategies.

Keywords: ERG; electrophysiology; electroretinography; inflammation; paediatric; uveitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dark Adaptation / physiology*
  • Electroretinography / methods*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography / methods
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Uveitis / diagnosis
  • Uveitis / physiopathology*
  • Visual Acuity*