Optical coherence tomography and visual evoked potentials: which is more sensitive in multiple sclerosis?

Giovanni Di Maggio, Roberto Santangelo, Simone Guerrieri, Mariangela Bianco, Laura Ferrari, Stefania Medaglini, Mariaemma Rodegher, Bruno Colombo, Lucia Moiola, Raffaella Chieffo, Ubaldo Del Carro, Vittorio Martinelli, Giancarlo Comi, Letizia Leocani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To assess the sensitivity of optic coherence tomography (OCT) and visual evoked potentials (VEPs) to visual pathway abnormalities in multiple sclerosis (MS).

METHODS: A total of 40 MS subjects, 28 with optic neuritis (ON) at least 3 months before (bilateral in 5), underwent assessment of visual acuity, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), OCT and VEPs, the latter quantified with a 0-4 conventional score.

RESULTS: OCT and VEPs were abnormal in 36% and 56% respectively in all eyes (p=0.11), 68% and 86% in eyes with previous ON (p=0.12), and in 19% versus 40% in eyes without ON history (p=0.007). Combining VEP and OCT increased sensitivity to 89% in ON and 44% in non-ON eyes. Considering all eyes, global retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness and VEP score were significantly correlated between them (ρ=-0.63, p

CONCLUSIONS: In eyes without ON, VEPs were more frequently abnormal than OCT, while the two techniques showed similar sensitivity in eyes previously affected by ON. The correlation of VEPs and OCT measures with disability prompts further exploration of the two techniques as potential markers of disease burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1342-1347
Number of pages6
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2014


  • disability
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • optic coherence tomography
  • optic neuritis
  • spectral domain
  • visual evoked potentials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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