Clinical application of the multifocal visual evoked potential Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND: Measures of visual function thresholds such as visual acuity and visual fields are generally dependent on subjective responses and assume maintenance of fixation, attention and motivation. In the young, elderly, cognitively impaired or malingering populations, such measures may be inaccurate or difficult to obtain. The Visual Evoked Response Imaging System (VERIS) has been claimed to give more objective topographic recordings of retinal and cortical function. This paper aims to explore the adequacy of this technique in four unusual, unrelated, clinically difficult cases. METHODS: Multifocal visual evoked potentials (mfVEPs) recorded on the VERIS System 3.01 are used to assess visual function in four cases with contradictory clinical findings or unreliable subjective responses. RESULTS: Patient 1 had sustained a head injury and had normal ocular and pupil examination but light perception in the right eye and 6/5 acuity in the left. Multifocal VEPs showed a marked depression of the right visual field with little macular response. Patient 2 had sustained a head injury, had a left field hemianopia, possible macular sparing and loss of much of the right field, reduced but variable visual acuities, good near vision and normal ocular fundi. Multifocal VEPs showed a severe depression in both visual fields (L more than R) with little macular response. Patient 3 had a left optic nerve meningioma and experienced great difficulty with visual field assessment. mfVEPs showed a bilateral depression in the superior field particularly the left field, with a larger deficit in the left eye. Patient 4 had unexplained visual acuity and peripheral field deficits. mfVEP results were inconclusive in this case. DISCUSSION: Where there is difficulty performing traditional techniques or conflicting clinical findings, mfVEPs may provide additional objective information to aid in the assessment of patients.

publication date

  • May 2004