Prognostic value of the pattern electroretinogram in cases of tumors affecting the optic pathway

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 1998 Apr;236(4):259-63. doi: 10.1007/s004170050074.


Background: Tumors compressing the optic pathway may lead to irreversible loss of vision which may be detected by the pattern electroretinogram (PERG) because of its relation to ganglion cell function.

Methods: Eyes of 19 patients were tested shortly before and 5-10 days after tumor surgery. Visual acuity, the 30-deg visual field and the transient and steady-state pattern reversal ERG were measured.

Results: Using patterns of 1.5 x 1.2 deg there was a good correlation between the change of pre- and post-surgical visual performance and most of the pattern ERG amplitudes. For all variables tested--P50, N95- and steady-state amplitude--there was a critical value beyond which the visual outcome could be bad or favorable, whereas patients showing higher amplitudes always remained stable or improved after surgery.

Conclusion: The positive correlation between pattern ERG amplitudes and the post-surgical outcome in the case of tumors affecting the optic pathway may be helpful in predicting the outcome for these patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cranial Nerve Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Cranial Nerve Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Cranial Nerve Neoplasms / surgery
  • Electroretinography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Optic Chiasm*
  • Prognosis
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Fields
  • Visual Pathways*