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Multifocal and full-field electroretinogram changes associated with color-vision loss in mercury vapor exposure

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2005

DORA F. VENTURA
Affiliation:
Instituto de Psicologia and Núcleo de Neurociências e Comportamento, Universidade de São Paulo, SP, Brazil
MARCELO T.V. COSTA
Affiliation:
Instituto de Psicologia and Núcleo de Neurociências e Comportamento, Universidade de São Paulo, SP, Brazil
MARCELO F. COSTA
Affiliation:
Instituto de Psicologia and Núcleo de Neurociências e Comportamento, Universidade de São Paulo, SP, Brazil
ADRIANA BEREZOVSKY
Affiliation:
Departamento de Oftalmologia, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, SP, Brazil
SOLANGE R. SALOMÃO
Affiliation:
Departamento de Oftalmologia, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, SP, Brazil
ANA LUÍZA SIMÕES
Affiliation:
Instituto de Psicologia and Núcleo de Neurociências e Comportamento, Universidade de São Paulo, SP, Brazil
MARCOS LAGO
Affiliation:
Instituto de Psicologia and Núcleo de Neurociências e Comportamento, Universidade de São Paulo, SP, Brazil
LUIZ H.M. CANTO PEREIRA
Affiliation:
Instituto de Psicologia and Núcleo de Neurociências e Comportamento, Universidade de São Paulo, SP, Brazil
MARCÍLIA A.M. FARIA
Affiliation:
Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, SP, Brazil
JOHN M. DE SOUZA
Affiliation:
Instituto de Psicologia and Núcleo de Neurociências e Comportamento, Universidade de São Paulo, SP, Brazil
LUIZ CARLOS L. SILVEIRA
Affiliation:
Departamento de Fisiologia and Núcleo de Medicina Tropical, Universidade Federal do Pará, PA, Brazil

Abstract

We evaluated the color vision of mercury-contaminated patients and investigated possible retinal origins of losses using electroretinography. Participants were retired workers from a fluorescent lamp industry diagnosed with mercury contamination (n = 43) and age-matched controls (n = 21). Color discrimination was assessed with the Cambridge Colour Test (CCT). Retinal function was evaluated by using the ISCEV protocol for full-field electroretinography (full-field ERG), as well as by means of multifocal electroretinography (mfERG). Color-vision losses assessed by the CCT consisted of higher color-discrimination thresholds along the protan, deutan, and tritan axes and significantly larger discrimination ellipses in mercury-exposed patients compared to controls. Full-field ERG amplitudes from patients were smaller than those of the controls for the scotopic response b-wave, maximum response, sum of oscillatory potentials (OPs), 30-Hz flicker response, and light-adapted cone response. OP amplitudes measured in patients were smaller than those of controls for O2 and O3. Multifocal ERGs recorded from ten randomly selected patients showed smaller N1–P1 amplitudes and longer latencies throughout the 25-deg central field. Full-field ERGs showed that scotopic, photopic, peripheral, and midperipheral retinal functions were affected, and the mfERGs indicated that central retinal function was also significantly depressed. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of retinal involvement in visual losses caused by mercury toxicity.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2004 Cambridge University Press

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