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More MS news articles for October 2003

Pattern reversal visual evoked potentials as a measure of visual pathway pathology in multiple sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis, 1 October 2003, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 529-534(6)
Weinstock-Guttman B.[1]; Baier M.[2]; Stockton R.[3]; Weinstock A.[3]; Justinger T.[1]; Munschauer F.[1]; Brownscheidle C.[1]; Williams J.[3]; Fisher E.[4]; Miller D.[4]; Rudick R.[4]
[1] Baird MS Center, The Jacobs Neurological Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA [2] Department of Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory, Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo, NY, USA [3] Cooper Institute, Golden, CO, USA [4] Mellen Center, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA


Pattern reversal visual evoked potentials (PRVEPs) have a well-documented role in diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), but their value as a visual function surrogate remains controversial.


We evaluated PRVEP in 37 patients with MS who were participating in a long-term follow-up study following a phase III trial of interferon ß-1a (Avonex®).

Patients were examined to determine the Kurtzke Extended Disability Status Score (EDSS), multiple sclerosis functional composite (MSFC), contrast letter acuity (CLA), and had cranial MRI scans to determine whole brain atrophy (BPF).

PRVEP was evaluated for P100 latency, amplitude, and waveform morphology.

Two summary scores were created: for Score A, abnormal latencies, morphologies, and amplitudes of each individual eye were added; for Score B, abnormal latencies, morphologies, and amplitude ratio between eyes was determined.

Sixteen patients in this group also had PRVEP at the time they enrolled in the clinical trial, eight years previously.


At the follow-up exam, over 75% of patients had abnormal PVEP parameters while visual acuity (VA) was abnormal only in 59%.

Increased PRVEP latency over the eight-year period correlated with deterioration assessed by EDSS (P=0.006), BPF (P=0.0001), and MSFC (P=0.0041).

Score A was significantly correlated with EDSS, BPF, CLA, cognitive function, and quality of life assessed with the Sickness Impact profile.

No correlation was seen with the MSFC.


The results indicate that PRVEP measures MS-related pathology, and can provide not only diagnostic but also prognostic information during evaluation of MS patients.