PURPOSE: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is generally considered a disease of the macula. However, recent studies show peripheral retinal lesions are prevalent in patients with AMD, indicative of a disease process that is more widespread. Full-field electroretinography (ffERG) measures an electrical response, not only from the macula, but from the entire retina. We wanted to study the ffERG response in eyes with AMD.
METHODS: We performed full-field electroretinography (RETI-port/scan 21, Roland, Berlin) in 13 patients with early AMD, 25 patients with late AMD and 24 individuals without vitreoretinal disease as a control group. Dawson-Trick-Litzkow fibre electrodes were used. Statistical analysis was performed and a p-value <0.05 was considered significant.
RESULTS: After adjusting for multiple comparisons, both the light-adapted 3.0 a-wave implicit time (p < 0.001) and 30-Hertz flicker peak time (p = 0.012) showed significant difference between patients with late AMD and individuals without vitreoretinal disease. There was a significant difference in the light-adapted 3.0 a-wave implicit time (p = 0.011) between patients with early AMD and the control group, but the difference in 30 Hz flicker peak time was not significant (p = 0.256).
CONCLUSION: The difference in cone function measured by light-adapted 3.0 a-wave implicit time and 30-Hertz flicker peak time in early and late AMD when compared to healthy controls suggests a more diminished overall response when AMD has reached later stages.