Documenta Ophthalmologica

, Volume 139, Issue 2, pp 137–149 | Cite as

Central and peripheral steady-state visual evoked potentials in children with optic pathway gliomas

  • Sarah Zakaib Rassi
  • Luis H. Ospina
  • Ariane Bochereau
  • Yvan Samson
  • Sébastien Perreault
  • Dave Saint-AmourEmail author
Original Research Article



Treatment of optic pathway gliomas is prompted by neuroradiological evidence of tumor growth, usually associated with progressive visual loss. Despite therapy, approximately 40% will show visual deterioration. Treatment outcome is largely based on the preservation of vision. However, current visual function assessment is often unreliable in children with optic pathway gliomas who have limited collaboration. Thus, there is a need for new clinical tools to evaluate visual functions in these children. The aim of the study was to assess the value of steady-state visual evoked potentials as a tool to assess function in the central and peripheral visual fields of children with optic pathway gliomas.


Ten patients with optic pathway gliomas and 33 healthy controls (ages 3 to 18 years) were tested using steady-state visual evoked potentials. The dartboard stimulus consisted of one central circle alternating at 16 reversals/s and one peripheral hoop alternating at 14.4 reversals/s, separated by a hoop of gray space. It was presented monocularly at 30% and 96% contrasts.


Results indicated that central signal-to-noise ratios were significantly lower in children with optic pathway gliomas compared to controls. However, no significant group difference was detected in the peripheral visual field.


Steady-state visual evoked potentials could eventually be implemented in the clinical assessment and follow-up of central visual field deficits in uncooperative or nonverbal children but seem to have limited usefulness for evaluation of peripheral visual field deficits. Additional studies are needed to identify testing parameters for full visual field assessment.


Steady-state visual evoked potential Optic pathway glioma Visual field assessment Optic nerve 



We would like to acknowledge the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sainte-Justine for their financial support. We would also like to thank our laboratory technician, Anthony Hosein Poitras Loewen for creation of the stimulus and technical support, as well as Hugues Leduc for his valuable help with the statistics. Lastly, we would like to thank the children and their families for their participation in this study.


The Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada provided financial support in the form of research funding but had no role in the design or conduct of this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Statement of human rights

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Statement on the welfare of animals

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyCentre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sainte-JustineMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Centre de Recherche du Centre HospitalierUniversitaire de Sainte-JustineMontréalCanada
  4. 4.Division of Hemato-Oncology, Department of PediatricsCentre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sainte-JustineMontréalCanada
  5. 5.Division of Child Neurology, Department of PediatricsCentre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sainte-JustineMontréalCanada

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