Documenta Ophthalmologica

, Volume 118, Issue 2, pp 101–108 | Cite as

The effect of topical anesthesia on the rat electroretinogram

  • Shai Sandalon
  • Ron Ofri
Original Research Article


Topical anesthetics are recommended when electroretinograms (ERGs) are recorded using contact lens electrodes. However, these drugs act by blocking voltage-gated Na+ channels. Since such channels have been located in both the inner and outer retina of many species, topical anesthesia could affect the ERG recordings in these subjects. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of oxybuprocaine, a commonly used ester local anesthetic, on the rat ERG. Full-field scotopic and pattern ERGs (PERGs) were recorded successively from both eyes of seven rats. One eye was randomly treated with oxybuprocaine 15 min prior to recording. In 10 rats unilateral full-field photopic ERG recordings were conducted prior to, and 15 min after, treatment. B-wave amplitude ratios of the experimental/control eyes were 1.13, 1.30, and 1.35 for the three intensities used to record scotopic ERG responses, and 1.04 for the photopic ERG responses. PERG amplitude ratios of the experimental/control eyes were 1.10, 1.21, 1.21, 1.24, and 1.26 for the five patterns used. Treatment had no significant negative effect on signal amplitude or implicit time of the full-field ERG or PERG. In fact, amplitudes of signals from treated eyes tended to be (insignificantly) higher, though this might reflect better position of the active electrode rather than a biological effect. We conclude that oxybuprocaine has no negative effect on the rat ERG.


Action potential Full-field ERG Oxybuprocaine Pattern ERG Voltage-gated sodium channel 



Voltage-gated sodium





This study was funded by the Joseph Alexander Foundation and the Alberto Moscona Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Koret School of Veterinary MedicineHebrew University of JerusalemRehovotIsrael

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