Visual function correlates with nerve fiber layer thickness in eyes affected by ocular hypertension

Vincenzo Parisi, Gianluca Manni, Stefano A. Gandolfi, Marco Centofanti, Gaspare Colacino, Massimo G. Bucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. To test whether the high variability observed when measuring pattern electroretinogram (PERG), visual evoked potentials (VEP), and spatial contrast sensitivity (SCS) in eyes with ocular hypertension is associated with variation in nerve fiber layer thickness, as measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT). Methods. The study involved 32 untreated eyes (32 patients; age range, 29-64 years) showing a normal white-on-white 24/2 Humphrey (San Leandro, CA) perimetry, IOP between 23 and 28 mm Hg, best corrected acuity of 20/20 or better, and none of the following papillary signs on conventional color stereo slides: rim notch(es), peripapillary splinter hemorrhages, or increased vertical-to-horizontal cup-to-disc ratio. On recruitment, each eye underwent SCS testing, OCT, PERG, and VEP recordings. Linear regression (Pearson's test) or Spearman's rank regression was adopted for the analysis of the data. Results. The 95% confidence limits of the electrophysiological data were: PERG P50 latency, 59.3 to 63 msec; PERG P50 to N95 amplitude, 0.74 to 1.15 μV; VEP P100 latency, 113 to 118 msec; VEP N75 to P100 amplitude, 3.81 to 4.90 μmV. The 360°nerve fiber layer thickness overall (NFLO) ranged between 113 and 169/am (145 ± 16 μm; mean ± SD) and significantly correlated with PERG P50 to N95 amplitude (r: 0.518; P = 0.002). PERG P50 latency (r: -0.470; P = 0.007), VEP N75 to P100 amplitude (r: 0,460; P = 0.008), VEP P100 latency (r = -0.422; P = 0.016) and SCS at 3 cyc/deg (r: -0.358; P = 0.044). Conclusions. The variability of PERG, VEP, and SCS testing observed in eyes with ocular hypertension is associated with differences in NFL thickness (the thinner the layer, the worse the visual function).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1828-1833
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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