Peripheral retinal dysfunction in patients taking vigabatrin

J. McDonagh, L. J. Stephen, F.M. Dolan, S. Parks, G.N. Dutton, K. Kelly, D. Keating, G. J. Sills, M.J. Brodie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To assess the wide-field multifocal electroretinogram (WF-mfERG) for assessment of retinal function in vigabatrin-treated patients.
Methods: Thirty-two adults who had taken vigabatrin for at least 3 years for localization-related epilepsy underwent WF-mfERG, ERG, logMar visual acuity and color vision evaluation, Humphrey visual field analysis (static perimetry), and funduscopy. The group was matched with a cohort of patients who had never received vigabatrin. Results were compared with a normative data set (120 drug-free controls) with respect to potential bilateral abnormalities in response timing.
Results: There were no significant differences between groups in visual acuity or color vision testing. Of the vigabatrin patients, 19 (59%) had bilateral visual field defects compared to none of the controls. Using WF-mfERG, all patients on vigabatrin with visual field defects showed abnormalities (100% sensitivity) and only 2 of the 13 patients without a field defect showed retinal abnormalities (86% specificity).
Conclusions: WF-mfERG may be useful for detecting retinal pathology in patients taking vigabatrin. The majority of previous reports based on subjective testing may have underestimated the prevalence of peripheral retinal toxicity related to the drug.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2003


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