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The Effect Of Duration Post-migraine On Visual Electrophysiology And Visual Field Performance In People With Migraine

Bao N Nguyen, Algis J Vingrys, Allison M McKendrick

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Purpose: In between migraine attacks, some people show visual field defects that are worse when measured closer to the end of a migraine event. In this cohort study, we consider whether electrophysiological responses correlate with visual field performance at different times post-migraine, and explore evidence for cortical versus retinal origin. Methods: Twenty-six non-headache controls and 17 people with migraine performed three types of perimetry (static, flicker and blue-on-yellow) to assess different aspects of visual function at two visits conducted at different durations post-migraine. On the same days, the pattern electroretinogram (PERG) and visual evoked response (PVER) were recorded. Results: Migraine participants showed persistent, interictal, localised visual field loss, with greater deficits at the visit nearer to migraine offset. Spatial patterns of visual field defect consistent with retinal and cortical dysfunction were identified. The PERG was normal, whereas the PVER abnormality found did not change with time post-migraine and did not correlate with abnormal visual field performance. Conclusions: Dysfunction on clinical tests of vision is common in between migraine attacks; however, the nature of the defect varies between individuals and can change with time. People with migraine show markers of both retinal and/or cortical dysfunction. Abnormal visual field sensitivity does not predict abnormality on electrophysiological testing.