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Evaluation of cone function by a handheld non-mydriatic flicker electroretinogram device

Authors Nakamura N, Fujinami K, Mizuno Y, Noda T, Tsunoda K

Received 21 January 2016

Accepted for publication 31 March 2016

Published 30 June 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 1175—1185


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Natsuko Nakamura,1 Kaoru Fujinami,1 Yoshinobu Mizuno,2 Toru Noda,2 Kazushige Tsunoda1

1Laboratory of Visual Physiology, Division of Vision Research, National Institute of Sensory Organs, 2Department of Ophthalmology, National Hospital Organization, National Tokyo Medical Center, Tokyo, Japan

Purpose: Full-field electroretinograms (ERGs) are used to evaluate retinal function in patients with various types of hereditary and acquired retinal diseases. However, ERG recordings require relatively invasive procedures, including pupillary dilation and the use of contact lens electrodes. Thus, it would be helpful to have a simpler and noninvasive screening method. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a new, handheld, portable ERG device, RETeval™, can be used to screen patients for cone dysfunction.
Patients and methods: Thirty-five eyes of 35 patients who had reduced cone responses ascertained by a conventional ERG system using contact lens electrodes were studied. The causative diseases included achromatopsia, cone dystrophy, cone-rod dystrophy, retinitis pigmentosa, choroidal dystrophy, autoimmune retinopathy, and Stargardt disease. The flicker ERGs were recorded with the RETeval™ under undilated conditions with skin electrodes (stimulus strength, 3.0 cd·s/m2; frequency, 28.3 Hz), and the responses were compared to that of 50 healthy eyes. The amplitudes and implicit times of the fundamental component of the flicker ERGs were analyzed in three age groups: Group A, ≤20 years; Group B, 21–40 years; and Group C, ≥41 years.
Results: In all of the age groups, the amplitudes of the ERGs were significantly smaller and the implicit times significantly longer in patients with cone dysfunction than in the control eyes. All but one of the patients had flicker amplitudes lower than the mean −2.0 standard deviation of control eyes.
Conclusion: The RETeval™ has a potential of being used to screen for cone dysfunction. The entire examination takes <5 minutes and does not require pupil dilatation or a contact lens electrode. Although the flicker responses do not provide information on the scotopic functions, the RETeval™ device can be used to determine which patients require additional full-field ERG testing with dilated pupils under both scotopic and photopic conditions.

Keywords: RETeval™, flicker ERG, cone dysfunction, retina

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