Investigation into visual defects attributed to Vigabatrin

  • Miriam Conway

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Vigabatrin (VGB) is a transaminase inhibitor that elicits its anitepileptic effect by increasing GABA concentrations in the brain and retina. - Assess whether certain factors predispose patients to develop severe visual field loss. - Develop a sensitive algorithm for investigating the progression of visual field loss. - Determine the most sensitive clinical regimen for diagnosing VGB-attributed visual field loss. - Investigate whether the reports of central retinal sparing are accurate. The investigations have resulted in a number of significant findings: - The anatomical evidence in combination with the pattern of visual field loss suggests that the damage induced by VGB therapy occurs at retinal level, and is most likely a toxic effect. - The quantitative algorithm, designed within the course of this investigation, provided increased sensitivity in determining the severity of visual field loss. - Maximum VGB dose predisposes patients to develop severe visual field loss. - The SITA Standard algorithm was found to be as sensitive and significantly faster, in diagnosing visual field defects attributed to VGB, when compared to the Full Threshold algorithm. The Full Threshold was found to be the most repeatable between visits. - The normal SWAP 10-2 database provided an effective method of differentiating SWAP defects. - SWAP, FDT and the mfERG have increased sensitivity in detecting visual field loss attributed to VGB. The pattern of visual field loss from these investigations suggests that VGB produces a diffuse effect across the retina including subtle central abnormalities and more severe peripheral defects. - Abnormalities detected using the mfERG have suggested that VGB adversely affects the photoreceptors Müller, amacrine and ganglion cells in the retina. An urgent review of the manufacturers recommended maximum dose for VGB is required.
    Date of AwardDec 2003
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorPaul Furlong (Supervisor), Sarah L Hosking (Supervisor) & Robert P Cubbidge (Supervisor)


    • visual defects
    • Vigabatrin

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