Visual evoked potentials in macular disease

S. J. Bass, J. Sherman, I. Bodis-Wollner, S. Nath

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61 Scopus citations


Although a delayed visual evoked potential is considered to be the hallmark of optic nerve disease, relatively little has been published about VEP delays in macular disease. In this study, 20 patients with either acquired unilateral maculopathy or bilateral maculopathy in which one eye was more affected than the other were evaluated. VEP amplitudes and peak latencies were compared between eyes when recordable. Nine patients (45%) exhibited significant interocular delays in the affected or more affected eye while only 4 patients (20%) exhibited significant interocular attenuations in amplitude. In the 9 patients exhibiting delays, 3 patients had a visual acuity of 20/30 or better in the affected eye or more affected eye. In the patients exhibiting amplitude attenuations, no patient had a visual acuity better than 20/50 in the affected or more affected eye. Although the mechanism of VEP delays in maculopathy is not clear, a VEP delay, in isolation of other tests, should not be used in the differential diagnosis of macular vs optic nerve disease. The clinician should specifically rule out macular disease in any patient with a delayed VEP before presuming the presence of a visual pathway dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1071-1074
Number of pages4
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes


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