Correlation between morphological and functional retinal impairment in multiple sclerosis patients

Vincenzo Parisi, Gianluca Manni, Maria Spadaro, Gaspare Colacino, Rita Restuccia, Stefano Marchi, Massimo G. Bucci, Francesco Pierelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. To assess whether a correlation exists between optic nerve fiber layer (NFL) thickness and the retinal or visual pathway function in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients previously affected by optic neuritis. Methods. Fourteen patients with a diagnosis of definite MS were examined. All had been affected by optic neuritis (MSON) with complete recovery of visual acuity (14 eyes included in study). These were compared with 14 eyes from 14 age-matched control subjects. NFL thickness was measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT). Three different measurements in each quadrant (superior, inferior, nasal, and temporal) were taken and averaged. The data in all quadrants (12 values averaged) were identified as NFL Overall, whereas the data obtained in the temporal quadrant only (3 values averaged) were identified as NFL Temporal. Retinal and visual pathway function was assessed by simultaneously recording pattern electroretinograms (PERGs) and visual evoked potentials (VEPs) using high-contrast (80%) checkerboard stimuli subtending 15 minutes and 60 minutes of the visual arc (min arc) and reversed at the rate of two reversals per second. Results. In MSON eyes there was a significant (P <0.01) reduction in NFL thickness in both NFL Overall and NFL Temporal evaluations compared with the values observed in control eyes. PERG, (15-min arc checks) and VEP (15-min arc and 60-min arc checks), showed a significant (P <0.01) delay in latency and reduction in amplitude. NFL Overall and NFL Temporal values were significantly correlated (P <0.01) to the PERG P50 latency and P50 to N95 amplitude recorded with 15-min arc checks. No correlations (P > 0.01) between NFL values and the other electrophysiological data (PERG recorded with 60-min arc checks and VEP recorded with 15-min arc and 60-min arc checks) were found. Conclusions. There is a correlation between PERG changes and NFL thickness in MS patients previously affected by optic neuritis, but there is no correlation between VEP changes and NFL thickness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2520-2527
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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