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    Electroretinography: Out of the laboratory and into the clinic

    Method for diagnosing and managing retinopathies and glaucoma has great potential

    Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has developed into an incredible tool for diagnosing and managing macular diseases. Cross-sectional imaging of the retina enables measurement of macular thickening, quantification of diabetic macular oedema and detection of vitreoretinal traction.

     

    A newer technique, spectral-domain OCT, is rapidly advancing as a necessary tool for diagnosing glaucoma by measuring optic nerve health parameters and comparing them with a normative database.

     

    Objective data on the structural health of the eye is invaluable. However, it only detects cells that have already died and fails to indicate whether living cells are under stress and would benefit from additional therapy, or if a suspicious structure may still have stable cells.

     

    The only objective, functional method at our disposal for diagnosing and managing retinopathies and glaucoma is electroretinography (ERG). These tests are unique in their ability to not only measure disease progression, but also improvement of cellular function.

     

    Visual electrophysiology tests have been used for decades in research settings, and are a trusted tool for detecting retinal abnormalities.1,2 The most commonly performed ERG vision tests are pattern ERG (PERG), which measure retinal ganglion cell function, and full field ERG (ffERG), which measure global retinal function. However, these technologies have only recently been made accessible to ophthalmic practice.

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