Documenta Ophthalmologica

, Volume 117, Issue 2, pp 121–128 | Cite as

A comparison of multifocal and conventional visual evoked potential techniques in patients with optic neuritis/multiple sclerosis

  • Larissa K. Grover
  • Donald C. Hood
  • Quraish Ghadiali
  • Tomas M. Grippo
  • Adam S. Wenick
  • Vivienne C. Greenstein
  • Myles M. Behrens
  • Jeffrey G. Odel
Original Research Article


Purpose To compare conventional visual evoked potential (cVEP) and multifocal visual evoked potential (mfVEP) methods in patients with optic neuritis/multiple sclerosis (ON/MS). Methods mfVEPs and cVEPs were obtained from eyes of the 19 patients with multiple sclerosis confirmed on MRI scans, and from eyes of 40 normal controls. For the mfVEP, the display was a pattern-reversal dartboard array, 48° in diameter, which contained 60 sectors. Monocular cVEPs were obtained using a checkerboard stimulus with check sizes of 15′ and 60′. For the cVEP, the latency of P100 for both check sizes were measured, while for the mfVEP, the mean latency, percent of locations with abnormal latency, and clusters of contiguous abnormal locations were obtained. Results For a specificity of 95%, the mfVEP(interocular cluster criterion) showed the highest sensitivity (89.5%) of the 5 monocular or interocular tests. Similarly, when a combined monocular/interocular criterion was employed, the mfVEP(cluster criterion) had the highest sensitivity (94.7%)/specificity (90%), missing only one patient. The combined monocular/interocular cVEP(60′) test had a sensitivity (84.2%)/specificity (90%), missing 3 patients, 2 more than did the monocular/interocular mfVEP(cluster) test. Conclusion As the cVEP is more readily available and currently a shorter test, it should be used to screen patients for ON/MS with mfVEP testing added when the cVEP test is negative and the damage is local.


Multifocal visual evoked potential VEP Multiple sclerosis Optic neuritis 



This work was supported by National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute Grants: RO1-EY02115 (DCH). Adam S. Wenick was funded by a fellowship from Fight for Sight, New York, NY, USA.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larissa K. Grover
    • 1
  • Donald C. Hood
    • 1
    • 2
  • Quraish Ghadiali
    • 1
  • Tomas M. Grippo
    • 3
  • Adam S. Wenick
    • 2
  • Vivienne C. Greenstein
    • 2
  • Myles M. Behrens
    • 2
  • Jeffrey G. Odel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Einhorn Clinical Research CenterNew York Eye and Ear InfirmaryNew YorkUSA

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