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29.10.2018 | Review Article | Ausgabe 3/2018 Open Access

Documenta Ophthalmologica 3/2018

The importance of the electrophysiological tests in the early diagnosis of ganglion cells and/or optic nerve dysfunction coexisting with pituitary adenoma: an overview

Zeitschrift:
Documenta Ophthalmologica > Ausgabe 3/2018
Autoren:
Ewelina Lachowicz, Wojciech Lubiński

Abstract

Background and methods

Based on the available literature, it is suggested, in the clinical evaluation of the chiasmal tumors, that the following electrophysiological tests: visual evoked potentials to pattern-reversal stimulation, multifocal visual evoked potentials (mfVEPs), and pattern electroretinogram (PERG) play an important role in the diagnosis of the optic nerve and retinal dysfunction in the course of pituitary tumors.

Results

Macroadenomas and also microadenomas may cause dysfunction of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and their axons, even in the absence of changes in the routine ophthalmological examination, retinal sensitivity in standard automated perimetry, and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in optical coherent tomography. The most frequently observed changes in electrophysiological tests were as follows: in PVEPs—the crossed/uncrossed asymmetry distribution, altered waveform, increase in P100-wave peak time, and/or reduction in amplitude; in mfVEPs—the peak time prolongation and/or amplitude reduction in C1-wave; in PERG—the reduction in N95-wave amplitude and decreased N95:P50 amplitude ratio. Hemifield PVEPs were more often abnormal than full-field PVEPs. Multi-channel recording is recommended for the assessment of the anterior visual pathway. The use of mfVEP offers the possibility to register localized disturbances of the optic nerve and ganglion cells. Additionally, an amplitude of N95-wave reduction in PERG correlated with a lack of postoperative visual acuity recovery. The postoperative improvement in the visual field was found to be associated with a normal N95:P50 amplitude ratio. The RGCs dysfunction manifested by decrease in PhNR/b-wave amplitude ratio was associated with the worse visual fields outcome. A review of the literature summarizing the electrophysiological testing in the pituitary adenoma is discussed.

Conclusion

In patients with pituitary tumor, detection of the early dysfunction of the visual pathway may lead to modification of the medical treatment regimen and reduce the incidence of irreversible optic nerve damage.

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