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Medical Practice

Visual Evoked Response in Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis

Br Med J 1973; 4 doi: (Published 15 December 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;4:661
  1. A. M. Halliday,
  2. W. I. McDonald,
  3. Joan Mushin


    The diagnostic value of the pattern-evoked response has been assessed in 73 patients referred because of suspected multiple sclerosis. Altogether 52 had delayed responses. Fifty-one patients in the group satisfied McAlpine's criteria for diagnosing definite, probable, or possible multiple sclerosis. Of these, all but two had delayed responses in one or both eyes, while only three of the remaining 22 patients had delays. In those patients with multiple sclerosis but without any history of optic neuritis the incidence of delayed responses was only slightly less. Of 51 patients with delayed responses 23 had normal discs. Thus subclinical lesions of the visual pathways can be readily detected with this test. The high incidence of abnormal pattern responses, even in patients with no other ocular signs or symptoms, suggests that the test is of value in establishing the diagnosis.

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