Purpose: To determine normative values, intra- and inter-session variability for a range of parameters derived from the photopic negative response (PhNR) using a handheld mini-Ganzfeld stimulator in healthy normal adults.
Methods: Light-adapted flash full-field electroretinograms (ERGs) were recorded from healthy individuals with no visual complaints, visual acuity equal to or better than 0.0 logMAR (20/20 Snellen), and negative family history for visual diseases. ERGs were recorded from both eyes using a DTL® type fiber electrode after dilation of the pupils with instillation of 1 drop of tropicamide eye drops (1%). The full-field PhNR stimulus conditions were produced by a LED-based ColorBurst™ (Diagnosys LLC, Lowell, MA, USA) handheld stimulator. Red flashes of 1, 5 and 7 cd.s/m2 on a blue background of 10 cd/m2 were presented. A-wave, b-wave and PhNR amplitude (determined by both baseline to trough-BT and peak to trough-PT) and peak times were analyzed. Normal limits were determined as 5% percentile for amplitudes and 95% percentile for latencies. Intra- and inter-session variability were assessed with Wilcoxon signed-rank test, intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and the coefficient of variability (COV).
Results: Normative limits for PhNR amplitude (µV) using 1, 5 and 7 cd.s./m2 stimuli were, respectively: 20.81; 18.06 and 19.60 for BT and 69.11; 77.98; 76.51 for PT. Peak times (ms) normative limits for 1, 5 and 7 cd.s/m2 intensities were, respectively, 65.98; 78.20 and 77.96. Overall, intra-session variability assessed by coefficients of variation ranged from 1.35 to 10.28%. Inter-session variability disclosed significant intraclass correlation values for all PhNR parameters only for 1 cd.s/m2 stimuli.
Conclusions: The normative values provided by this study are clinically helpful in the diagnosis of inner retinal disorders, especially those affecting retinal ganglion cells such as glaucoma and other optic neuropathies. Further studies, including a larger sample with variable age range would extend the validity of the current results.
Keywords: Electroretinogram; Norms; Photopic negative response; Variability.