Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Ophthalmology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Assessment of visual disability using visual evoked potentials

Jihoon Jeon1, Seiyul Oh2 and Sungeun Kyung1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of ophthalmology, Dankook University Hospital, 359 Manghang-Ro, Dongnam-Gu, Cheonan-City, Chungchungnam-Do, South Korea

2 Department of Ophthalmology, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, 50 Ilwon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul city, South Korea

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Ophthalmology 2012, 12:36  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-12-36

Published: 6 August 2012



The purpose of this study is to validate the use of visual evoked potential (VEP) to objectively quantify visual acuity in normal and amblyopic patients, and determine if it is possible to predict visual acuity in disability assessment to register visual pathway lesions.


A retrospective chart review was conducted of patients diagnosed with normal vision, unilateral amblyopia, optic neuritis, and visual disability who visited the university medical center for registration from March 2007 to October 2009. The study included 20 normal subjects (20 right eyes: 10 females, 10 males, ages 9–42 years), 18 unilateral amblyopic patients (18 amblyopic eyes, ages 19–36 years), 19 optic neuritis patients (19 eyes: ages 9–71 years), and 10 patients with visual disability having visual pathway lesions. Amplitude and latencies were analyzed and correlations with visual acuity (logMAR) were derived from 20 normal and 18 amblyopic subjects. Correlation of VEP amplitude and visual acuity (logMAR) of 19 optic neuritis patients confirmed relationships between visual acuity and amplitude. We calculated the objective visual acuity (logMAR) of 16 eyes from 10 patients to diagnose the presence or absence of visual disability using relations derived from 20 normal and 18 amblyopic eyes.


Linear regression analyses between amplitude of pattern visual evoked potentials and visual acuity (logMAR) of 38 eyes from normal (right eyes) and amblyopic (amblyopic eyes) subjects were significant [y = −0.072x + 1.22, x: VEP amplitude, y: visual acuity (logMAR)]. There were no significant differences between visual acuity prediction values, which substituted amplitude values of 19 eyes with optic neuritis into function. We calculated the objective visual acuity of 16 eyes of 10 patients to diagnose the presence or absence of visual disability using relations of y = −0.072x + 1.22 (−0.072). This resulted in a prediction reference of visual acuity associated with malingering vs. real disability in a range >5.77 μV. The results could be useful, especially in cases of no obvious pale disc with trauma.


Visual acuity quantification using absolute value of amplitude in pattern visual evoked potentials was useful in confirming subjective visual acuity for cutoff values >5.77 μV in disability evaluation to discriminate the malingering from real disability.

Pattern visual evoked potentials (VEP); Disability assessment; Objective visual acuity; Malingering