Assessing Early Stage Open-Angle Glaucoma in Patients by Isolated-Check Visual Evoked Potential

This article has been accepted and is currently in production


Recently, the isolated-check visual evoked potential (icVEP) technique was designed and has been reported to detect glaucomatous damage earlier and faster. It creates low spatial frequency/high temporal frequency bright stimuli and records cortical activity initiated primarily by afferents in the magnocellular ON pathway. This pathway contains neurons with larger volumes and axonal diameters, and it is preferentially damaged in early glaucoma, which can result in visual field loss. The study presented here uses standard operative procedures (SOP) of icVEP to obtain reliable results. It can detect visual function loss using a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) corresponding to the defects of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) in early stage open-angle glaucoma (OAG). A setting of 10 Hz and condition of 15% positive-contrast (bright) are selected to differentiate OAG patients and control subjects, with each check containing eight runs. Each run persists for 2 s (for 20 total cycles). A flowchart is constructed, which consists of pupil size and intraocular pressure over a 30 min rest period before each examination. Additionally, the testing order of eyes is performed to obtain reliable electroencephalographic signals. VEPs are recorded and analyzed automatically by software, and SNRs are derived based on a multivariate statistic. An SNR of ≤ 1 is considered abnormal. A receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC) curve is applied to analyze the accuracy of group classification. Then, the SOP is applied in a cross-sectional study, showing that icVEP can detect glaucomatous visual function abnormality in the central visual field in the form of SNR. This value also correlates with the thickness thinning of RNFL and produces high classification accuracy for early stage OAG. Thus, it serves as a useful and objective diagnostic technology for the early detection of glaucoma.