Photopic full-field flash ERGs (photopic ffERGs) and OPs (photopic ffOPs) and slow m-sequence (to enhance OP prominence) mfERGs (and filtered mfOPs) evoked by a 37 hexagon stimulus array were recorded from normal subjects and cCSNB patients. Discrete wavelet transform (DWT) analysis of photopic ffERGs and mfERGs was also performed in order to assess the contribution of the ON and OFF retinal pathways (i.e., OFF-to-ON ratio) in both cohorts.
As expected, the photopic ffERG (and ffOPs) responses in cCSNB were devoid of the first two of the three OPs (i.e., OP2 and OP3 and OP4) normally seen on the ascending limb of the b-wave. A similar finding was also noted in the mfERGs (and mfOPs) of ring 4. In contrast, the mfERGs (and mfOPs) of ring 1 included all three OPs. DWT analysis revealed that while in normal subjects, the OFF-to-ON ratio of mfERGs slightly increased from rings 1 to 4 (from 0.61 ± 0.03 to 0.78 ± 0.04; p < 0.05; median: from 0.62 to 0.79; p < 0.05), in cCSNB this ratio increased significantly more [from 0.73 ± 0.13 (ring 1) to 1.18 ± 0.17 (ring 4); p < 0.05; median: 0.78 to 1.22; p < 0.05], hence from a normal ON-dominated ratio (central ring) to an OFF-dominated ratio (peripheral ring).
Our results show a clear discrepancy of ON and OFF mfOP components in cCSNB. Responses originating from the most central ring (i.e., ring 1) disclosed a near-normal electrophysiological contribution (as revealed with the presence of OP2, OP3 and OP4 as well as with the DWT OFF-to-ON ratio) of the retinal ON and OFF pathways in mfERG (and mfOPs) responses compared to responses from the more peripheral ring (and ffOP) which are devoid of the ON OPs (i.e., OP2 and OP3).