Documenta Ophthalmologica

, Volume 134, Issue 3, pp 157–165 | Cite as

Test–retest reliability of scotopic full-field electroretinograms in rabbits

  • Jan LuebkeEmail author
  • Alexandra Anton
  • Michael Bach
Original Research Article



To explore test–retest reliability of standard scotopic full-field ERG measurements in New Zealand White rabbits. The ERG is widely used for testing of retinal integrity after any ocular treatment. We here present detailed stimulus–response dependencies for single healthy and untreated animals, concentrating on test–retest reproducibility.

Materials and methods

Five New Zealand White rabbits (aged 8–10 weeks, weight about 2.0–2.5 kg) underwent binocular ERG measurements after intramuscular anesthesia and pharmaceutical pupillary dilatation at a baseline day and 10 days later. Eleven scotopic flash strengths (0.0001–10 cd s/m2) were presented. Variability was quantified via the 95% limits of agreement (LOA).


The a-waves displayed the typical monotonic sigmoid amplitude increase with flash strength, and the b-waves peaked at 0.01 cd s/m2, followed by a marked dip at 0.1–0.3 cd s/m2. LOA of both waves went through a maximum in the dip region. LOA divided by mean amplitudes (relative LOA) was fairly flat over flash strength, around 20% beyond the dip. Intraindividual interocular variability was markedly lower, around 10%.


Scotopic ERG responses in rabbits display a region of high variability at 0.1–0.3 cd s/m2; beyond that region the amplitude-LOA is 20%, the interocular LOA being half that value. The use of intraindividual control eyes for testing any toxicity of ocular agents thus appears markedly more sensitive. As a rule of thumb, we found the relative 95% LOA as 33% between individuals, 20% across sessions and 10% between eyes.


ERG Rabbits Test–retest reliability 



We gratefully thank Ruth Hamilton for advice on mechanisms involved in the b-wave V-log-I function, the German Research Council for financial support (DFG Jo 364/5-1) and two anonymous reviewers for advice.

Compliance with ethical standards

Statement on the welfare of animals

All applicable international, national and institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.

Statement of human rights

Not applicable.

informed consent

Not applicable.

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Eye Center, Medical CenterUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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