New criteria for evaluation of electroretinogram in patients with retinitis pigmentosa

Doc Ophthalmol. 2021 Dec;143(3):271-281. doi: 10.1007/s10633-021-09843-x. Epub 2021 Jun 30.


Background: Electroretinogram (ERG) plays an essential role in the diagnosis of retinal disease. Choosing appropriate methods could extract valuable information from ERG. In this study, a new criterion based on time-frequency domain analysis was proposed to investigate the retina in retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients.

Materials and methods: The total number of 16 eyes from eight RP patients and 20 eyes from age-matched healthy subjects were assessed. The signals included photopic and scotopic ERGs. Continuous wavelet transform was applied to ERGs. Dominant frequencies were extracted, and the contours related to these dominant frequencies were selected. As a new criterion, the areas related to dominant frequency contours were considered a feature to differentiate the RP and normal groups. To better evaluate the proposed criterion results, the time-domain analysis characteristics of ERG were also considered.

Results: The results showed an increase in implicit time and reduced amplitude in RP patients (P < 0.05). A significant decrease of dominant frequencies and increasing their occurrence time were seen in ERG of RP patients. Also, in RP patients, the third dominant frequency was disappeared from the three main frequencies observed in photopic ERGs of normal subjects. The area criterion showed a significant decrease in RP groups (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: RP can cause changes in the time and time-frequency components of the ERG. The area index could represent a new view of the characteristics of the ERG in the time-frequency domain. This criterion can help the ophthalmologist to have a better evaluation of retinal disease.

Keywords: Area index; Continuous wavelet transform; Dominant frequency; Electroretinogram; Retinitis pigmentosa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electroretinography*
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Retina
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa* / diagnosis