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Multifocal VEP and OCT findings in patients with primary open angle glaucoma: A cross-sectional study

Marilita M Moschos*, Gerasimos Georgopoulos, Irini P Chatziralli and Chryssanthi Koutsandrea

Author Affiliations

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Athens, 6, Ikarias street, Ekali, 14578, Athens, Greece

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BMC Ophthalmology 2012, 12:34  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-12-34

Published: 2 August 2012



To evaluate objectively the anatomical and functional changes of optic nerve in eyes with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) by the joint use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) and multifocal visual evoked potentials (mfVEP).


29 eyes with open angle glaucoma and visual field defects, as well as 20 eyes of 10 age-matched control normal subjects were tested. All participants underwent a complete ophthalmological examination. Moreover, Humphrey visual field test, OCT examination and recording of mfVEP were performed. Amplitude and implicit time of mfVEP, as well as RNFL thickness were measured. Differences in density components of mfVEP and in RNFL thickness among POAG eyes and control eyes were examined using Student’s t-test.


In glaucomatous eyes the mean Retinal Response Density (RRD) was lower than normal in ring 1, 2 and 3 of mfVEP (p < 0.0001). Specifically the mean amplitude of mfVEP in POAG eyes was estimated at 34.2 ± 17.6 nV/deg2, 6.9 ± 4.8 nV/deg2 and 2.6 ± 1.6 nV/deg2 in rings 1, 2 and 3 respectively. In contrast the mean implicit time was similar to control eyes. In addition, the mean RNFL thickness in POAG eyes was estimated at 76.8 ± 26.6 μm in the superior area, 52.1 ± 16.3 μm in the temporal area, 75.9 ± 32.5 μm in the inferior area and 58.6 ± 19.4 μm in the nasal area. There was a statistically significant difference in RNFL thickness in all peripapillary areas (p < 0.0001) between POAG eyes and controls, with superior and inferior area to present the highest decrease.


Our study shows that, although Standard Automatic Perimetry is the gold standard to evaluate glaucomatous neuropathy, the joint use of mfVEP and OCT could be useful in better monitoring glaucoma progression.