21 September 2018
The photopic negative response (PhNR) of the light-adapted electroretinogram (ERG) holds promise as an objective marker of retinal ganglion cell function. We compared baseline detrending methods to improve PhNR repeatability without compromising its diagnostic ability in glaucoma.
Photopic ERGs were recorded in 20 glaucoma and 18 age-matched control participants. A total of 50 brief, red-flashes (1.6 cd.s/m 2) on a blue background (10 photopic cd/m 2) were delivered using the RETeval device. Detrending methods compared were: (1) increasing the high-pass filter from 1 to 10 Hz and (2) estimating and removing the trend with an increasing polynomial (order from 1–10) applied to the prestimulus interval, prestimulus and postsignal interval, or the whole ERG signal. Coefficient of repeatability (COR%), unpaired Student's t-test, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) were used to compare the detrending methods.
Most detrending methods improved PhNR test–retest repeatability compared to the International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision (ISCEV) recommended 0.3 to 300 Hz band-pass filter (COR% ± 200%). In particular, detrending with a polynomial (order 3) applied to the whole signal performed the best (COR% ± 44%) while achieving similar diagnostic ability as ISCEV band-pass (AUC 0.74 vs. 0.75, respectively). However, over-correcting with higher orders of processing can cause waveform distortion and reduce diagnostic ability.
Baseline detrending can improve the PhNR repeatability without compromising its clinical use in glaucoma. Further studies exploring more complex processing methods are encouraged.