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John Maguire, Neil R. A. Parry, Jan Kremers, Deepika Kommanapalli, Ian J. Murray, Declan J. McKeefry; Rod Electroretinograms Elicited by Silent Substitution Stimuli from the Light-Adapted Human Eye. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2016;5(4):13. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.5.4.13.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To demonstrate that silent substitution stimuli can be used to generate electroretinograms (ERGs) that effectively isolate rod photoreceptor function in humans without the need for dark adaptation, and that this approach constitutes a viable alternative to current clinical standard testing protocols.
Rod-isolating and non-isolating sinusoidal flicker stimuli were generated on a 4 primary light-emitting diode (LED) Ganzfeld stimulator to elicit ERGs from participants with normal and compromised rod function who had not undergone dark-adaptation. Responses were subjected to Fourier analysis, and the amplitude and phase of the fundamental were used to examine temporal frequency and retinal illuminance response characteristics.
Electroretinograms elicited by rod-isolating silent substitution stimuli exhibit low-pass temporal frequency response characteristics with an upper response limit of 30 Hz. Responses are optimal between 5 and 8 Hz and between 10 and 100 photopic trolands (Td). There is a significant correlation between the response amplitudes obtained with the silent substitution method and current standard clinical protocols. Analysis of signal-to-noise ratios reveals significant differences between subjects with normal and compromised rod function.
Silent substitution provides an effective method for the isolation of human rod photoreceptor function in subjects with normal as well as compromised rod function when stimuli are used within appropriate parameter ranges.
This method of generating rod-mediated ERGs can be achieved without time-consuming periods of dark adaptation, provides improved isolation of rod- from cone-based activity, and will lead to the development of faster clinical electrophysiologic testing protocols with improved selectivity.
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