Nurhan Kaya Tutar, Sami Ömerhoca, Elif Söylemez, Turgut Adatepe, Nilüfer Kale

University of Health Sciences Turkey, Istanbul Bagcilar Training and Research Hospital, Clinic of Neurology, Istanbul, Turkey

Keywords: Visual evoked potentials, non-specific white matter lesions, demyelinating disease, multiple sclerosis


Objective: Demyelinating diseases are included in the differential diagnosis of non-specific white matter lesions (NSWMLs), which are incidentally detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain. This study aimed to investigate the role of visual evoked potentials (VEPs) in the diagnosis of patients with demyelinating diseases.

Materials and Methods: In this retrospective study, the VEPs performed in our electrophysiology laboratory between 2017 and 2018 were evaluated. One hundred and thirty-two patients with complete medical records were included in the study. After 2 years of follow-up, three groups were formed: 1st group: Demyelinating spectrum (multiple sclerosis, clinically isolated syndrome, radiologically isolated syndrome, and possible demyelinating disease); 2nd group: NSWMLs; and 3rd group (control): Subjects with normal neurological examination and neuroimaging after presenting with symptoms.

Results: The VEP findings demonstrated a significant latency prolongation and an amplitude reduction in the demyelinating disease group compared to the NSWMLs and control groups. The VEP parameters of the NSWMLs group did not differ from those of the control group.

Conclusion: Abnormalities in VEP suggest a demyelinating spectrum, whereas a normal VEP may suggest the absence of a demyelinating process. In cases where non-specific MRI findings cannot be supported by clinical data, a normal VEP diagnosis may help exclude demyelinating diseases.

Ethics Committee Approval

The study was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and the study protocol was approved by the Local Ethics Committee of University of Health Sciences Turkey, Istanbul Bagcilar Training and Research Hospital (date: 25/12/2020, no: 2020.

Peer Review

Externally and internally peer-reviewed.

Author Contributions

Concept: N.K.İ., Design: T.A., Data Collection or Processing: N.K.T., E.S., Analysis or Interpretation: N.K.T., Literature Search: S.Ö., E.S., Writing: N.K.T.

Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest was declared by the authors.

Financial Disclosure

The authors declared that this study received no financial support.