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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2010 April;145(2):141-9

Copyright © 2010 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Vitiligo: ocular and electrophysiological findings

Perossini M. 1, Turio E. 2, Perossini T. 1, Cei G. 3, Barachini P. 2

1 Eye Disease Clinic, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy 2 Dermatologic Clinic, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy 3 Neurologic Clinic, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy


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AIM: The aim of this study was to analyze the involvement of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and optic nerve in patients with vitiligo (N.=40, 12 males and 28 females, age 12-82 years; average 45.8).
METHODS: The dermatological and ophthalmological examinations have been followed by electro-oculography (EOG) and pattern visual evoked potential (VEP) tests.
RESULTS: The results of the fundus examination were normal, showing no characteristics that might be considered typical of vitiligo. Sixteen patients had an altered VEP (9 with amplitude reduction, 7 with amplitude reduction and increased latency); 4 patients showed only an Arden Index (AI) ≥180; and 4 patients showed both an altered VEP and AI ≤180. EOG detected 1 pathological case (AI ≤160); 7 subnormal patients (AI 160-180); and 32 normal patients (AI ≥180). The mean AI was 249 in the vitiligo patients compared to 277.2 in the normal controls. Patients with both an altered VEP and an abnormal EOG had higher than average skin involvement and a longer disease duration, and the alterations in VEP (amplitude and latency) were much more marked than in the other patients.
CONCLUSION: These results confirm that the simultaneous presence of abnormal VEP and EOG is characteristic of severe disease. Patients with only a pathological VEP (N.=12) had a noticeably longer mean disease duration, while those only with AI ≤180 showed a slightly higher degree of skin involvement. It may be concluded that patients with more extensive skin involvement and a longer disease duration will also exhibit more markedly negative ocular electro-physiologic findings. Pattern VEP and EOG offer useful tools to evaluate the evolution of vitiligo, because they can detect subclinical involvement of the optic nerve and RPE. The results of these two tests are correlated with the disease duration and extent of cutaneous involvement.

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