Electroretinography (ERG)

What is Electroretinography?

As the name suggests, electroretinography (ERG) is closely related to electrocardiography (ECG). In ECG, electrodes at certain positions on the body record the heartbeat with a suitable biosignal amplifier. This procedure can also be applied to the eye to examine the function of the retina. However, the big difference with ECG is that the retina does not generate a signal on its own. Therefore the use of a stimulator is necessary which can stimulate the retina by light impulses or different pattern changes.

Why do you need Electroretinography?

The retina is a very complex structure which is very susceptible to numerous diseases and defects. These can often be identified and treated by imaging methods such as photography or OCT. The big advantage of an electrophysiological examination, however, is that it delivers objective results. For difficult questions or even after therapy, an ERG can therefore help to make a reliable diagnosis. But also for patients who are or do not want to be communicable an ERG can be the means of choice.

What else can an ERG do?

Often there are also cases where a diagnosis with an imaging procedure such as cataract is not possible. Here, an ERG can simply be used to stimulate through the opacity of the eye lens in order to assess the function of the retina. This examination is necessary to assess the chances of success of an expensive cataract operation.

Advantages of an Electroretinogram

  • Objective
  • Sure diagnosis
  • Disadvantages of an Electroretinogram

  • Extensive examination
  • More information about Electroretinography

    Human: International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision
    Veterinary: European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists


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