Senescent changes and topography of the dark-adapted multifocal electroretinogram

Athanasios Panorgias, Megan Tillman, Erich E. Sutter, Ala Moshiri, Christina Gerth-Kahlert, John S Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE. To investigate the topographic changes of the dark-adapted multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) across adulthood in the central retina and compare the topography between macular versus extramacular, nasal versus temporal, and inferior versus superior retinal areas. METHODS. Sixty-five subjects (18–88 years) received a comprehensive dilated eye examination to ensure the health of their retina and were tested with a dark-adapted mfERG protocol using a 61-hexagon pattern. The lens absorption of each subject was also estimated using a heterochromatic flicker photometry (HFP) paradigm. RESULTS. The response amplitude and latency of the dark-adapted mfERG showed a significant change with age, which was best described with a linear model. All the retinal areas examined demonstrated similar aging effects. The extramacular and temporal retina showed higher response amplitude and faster response latency when compared with the macular and nasal retinae, respectively. No difference was found in response amplitude and latency between the inferior and superior retina. The HFP results also showed a significant correlation with age, consistent with senescent increases in short wavelength absorption by the crystalline lens. However, the change in lens absorption did not exceed the magnitude of the change in response amplitude and latency. DISCUSSION. Our results indicate that there is a decline in dark-adapted retinal activity as measured with the mfERG. These aging processes affect rods and rod-bipolar cells. Their decrease in response can be attributed to both optical and neural factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1323-1329
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Aging vision
  • Dark-adapted ERG
  • mfERG
  • Scotopic vision
  • Topography of mfERG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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