Pediatric Retina Degeneration Service
The Boston Children's Hospital' Retina Service offers pediatric patients the most advanced, extensive and thorough diagnostic testing of retinal function. In addition to a complete ophthalmic examination, procedures performed include the electoretinogram (ERG), the sweep visual evoked potential (sVEP) and the dark-adapted visual threshold (DAT).
Electroretinography (ERG) is performed to assess the function of the photoreceptors (the rods and the cones) and other retinal cells. Our experts have published papers on basic research on the development of ERG responses that serve as the basis for interpreting the ERG responses in the pediatric population. In addition to the full field ERG, we perform multifocal ERG (mfERG) testing that assesses the central retina, which is affected by macular degenerations.
The sweep visual evoked potential (sVEP) allows us to determine the visual acuity of patients who cannot be tested with conventional acuity tests and assess the effect of optic nerve abnormalities on vision.
Behavioral measurements (psychophysics) of dark adapted visual thresholds (DAT) quantify retinal sensitivity. This procedure tests the patient's night vision and helps determine what is the dimmest light the patient can see in the dark. This helps monitor the course of a patient's disease. When paired with the results of the clinical examination, the results of these and other tests, such as infrared pupillography, assessment of color vision, and perimetry (visual fields), help establish diagnoses and characterize the visual capabilties of the individual patient.