, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 532-536
Date: 18 Dec 2006

Improvement of Scotopic Electroretinograms and Night Blindness with Recovery of Serum Zinc Levels

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Abstract

Background

We sought to determine the cause of reduced scotopic and photopic electroretinograms (ERGs) and night blindness in a 46-year-old man with liver dysfunction but no history of alcoholism.

Case

A 46-year-old Japanese man with a complaint of visual difficulties in dim light for 1 month.

Observations

By electrophysiological investigation, the patient was found to have low levels of serum zinc and vitamin A on admission. The rod b wave was unrecordable, and the bright-flash ERGs were reduced, with the a wave > b wave. The amplitudes of the cone and 30-Hz flicker responses were also reduced, and their implicit times were prolonged. Three weeks after admission, the patient's serum zinc level recovered to normal levels, but his serum vitamin A level was still low. The symptoms of night blindness were gone, and the rod ERGs and single bright-flash responses were within normal limits. However, the cone ERGs and 30-Hz flicker responses were still depressed.

Conclusions

The recovery of scotopic function together with the recovery of zinc but not vitamin A levels suggests that the ERG changes were most likely related to low zinc levels.