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Changes in neurophysiologic markers of visual processing following beneficial anti-VEGF treatment in macular degeneration

Authors Vottonen P, Kaarniranta K, Pääkkönen A, Tarkka I

Received 17 November 2012

Accepted for publication 16 January 2013

Published 27 February 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 437—442


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Pasi Vottonen,1 Kai Kaarniranta,1,2 Ari Pääkkönen,3 Ina M Tarkka4

1Department of Ophthalmology, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland; 2Department of Ophthalmology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland; 3Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland; 4Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

Purpose: Antivascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents have been shown to improve visual acuity and prevent vision loss in exudative age-related macular degeneration. As the vision improves relatively quickly in response to intravitreal injections, we wanted to know whether this improvement is reflected in electrophysiological markers of visual cortical processing.
Patients and methods: Our interventional case series included six elderly patients who underwent injection treatment to the affected eye. Their visual acuity, tomographic images of retinal thickness, and visual evoked potentials (VEP) were assessed before treatment and six weeks after the last injection.
Results: All patients showed improved visual acuity and reduced retinal fluid after the treatment. All but one patient showed increased VEP P100 component amplitudes and/or shortened latencies in the treated eye. These VEP changes were consistent with improved vision while the untreated eyes showed no changes.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that antivascular endothelial growth factor injections improved visual function of the treated eyes both in the level of the retina and in the level of visual cortical processing.

Keywords: age-related eye diseases, exudative age-related macular degeneration, visual evoked potentials, scalp-recorded EEG, visual acuity

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