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Multifocal ERG Changes in Patients with Ocular Behçet´s Disease During Therapy with Interferon a2a

1Stübiger N., 2Besch D., 3Deuter C. M. E., 1Zierhut M., 4Kötter I.,
1Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Universitäts-Augenklinik, Abt. I (Tübingen)
2Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Universitäts-Augenklinik, Abt. II (Tübingen)
3Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Universitäts-Augenklinik, Erkrankungen des vorderen und hinteren Augenabschnittes (Tübingen)
4Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Medizinische Universitätsklinik, Abt. II (Tübingen)

Introduction: To measure the therapeutical effect of interferon-alfa therapy with the Multifocal ERG (MERG) in patients with panuveitis / uveitis posterior due to Behçet´s disease (BD).
Patients and Methods: Ten patients with ocular BD, diagnosed according to the criteria of the International Study Group, were treated with Interferon (IFN) a2a in a dose range from 0.9 MioIU to 6 MioIU per day. These patients were examined before, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after initiating interferon therapy by visual acuity, measurement of the visual field and the multifocal ERG system. We used a resolution of 61 hexagonal elements within a 30° visual field. Signals were filtered with a widened bandpass filter setting of 10-100 Hz. For evaluation, responses were grouped by eccentricity. Amplitude and timing of the first positive peak (P1) of each group response were determined.
Results: Before therapy, the MERG of patients showed P1 amplitude loss in the affected eyes, predominantly in the macular region (group 1 and 2), with or without delayed peak times. Follow-up under interferon-therapy revealed an increase of macular P1 amplitudes, and a decrease of P1 peak times. In additon, visual acuity and visual field changes improved.
Conclusions: Improvement of retinal function could be demonstrated both by visual acuity, by visual field measurement as well as by the MERG. Therefore improvement of the MERG reflects well the clinical course during IFNa2a treatment. To study the kinetics of the MERG changes we plan to include more patients in this clinical trial.

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