Visual evoked potentials test

One of the diagnostic tests my neurologist insisted to do was the well known visual evoked potentials test, even though I have never had diplopia/blindness and my color vision was normal. I understand that he was checking for NMO/Devic syndrome. By the way AQP4 proteine blood test was negative.

I had to sit in front of a machine with blinking black and white small squares for about 10 to 15 minutes. The optical doctor (who possibly did not have any MS experience) has written in the test results document that I had a minor delay of 0.3 degrees, on both eyes. He could not correlate this with MS or get any kind of conclusion from that. The delay is of course meaning that the optical signal propagation is having trouble to arrive on time to the brain, but how much important are those 0.3 degrees? My neuro doctor was also not helpful to understand if this is a serious biomarker for NMO.

Does anybody have experience on evoked potentials outcome ? What is the expected outcome of the test? For example MRI lesions is well understood result and CSF oligoclonal bands present in the fluid but not in the serum (blood test) is a positive sign of MS (biomerker). But what about evoked potentials test results?

Thanks in advance for your assistance on that.


11 Replies

  • I had this test done when I was first diagnosed with MS. My neurologist did a great job of explaining that this test is not really diagnostic, but testing when first diagnosed gives them a base line. If you do start having problems in the future you can be tested again and then compare it to this first test to see if this is perhaps the cause of your problems. I also had a hearing test done for the exact same reason.

  • Melinda_ford

    Thank you Melinda for the reply. It makes sense to keep the result as a baseline for future potential event and subsequent new testing.

  • Manos, it is MSFIGHTER saying hello. I do not believe we have spoken before. I really thought that I had had most of the diagnostic tests that were known to man, but the visual evoked test you're speaking of is a new one to me. And I have had a couple of vision problems early after my diagnosis.

    I would suggest you make a list of questions you have and make an appointment to go back in and see the doctor and not leave his office until you are satisfied that he has answered all your questions. He should probably give you some literature or perhaps someplace on the Internet where you could also fìnd written information to take with you. Or if he is uncertain I would ask him to refer me to a specialist that will answer my questions and help me understand what's going on with my eyes and the testing that's being required. Don't settle for less, remember the doctors works for you. Please keep us informed as I, too, would like more information on the different Optical test they are requiring of you. Remember together we are stronger. Be MS Strong!

  • @MSFighter . Hi MSFighter. Thank you for your advise regarding clearing things with the doctor, but sometimes I feel that I have a better knowledge on some issues compared with what my doctor knows.

    Doctors some times make mistakes, they do not listen carefully to what you explain to them. So I believe it is important to search by yourself. And the Health Unlocked platform, plus many internet medical sites (like MSAA and others) are very useful source of info.

    Regarding optical evoked potentials, I think it is one of the useful tests a person diagnosed with MS should do. I had also a blood test on Aquaporine 4 (AQP4 proteine) to check for possible NMO Devic-syndrome. You may check the Internet for those key words.

    Good luck !


  • Hi Manos l never had that done and would probably refuse anyway. No way could l sit still and watch black and white boxes like that. With my luck l would either get sick or have a seizure. Ugh

  • Jesmcd2 Hi Jes. I understand. Every case is different.

  • Would answer the question about if l had seizures or not tho. I know lm nuts :) My daughter insists that l had a small one, but my guy hasn't seen any. So who knows.

  • Jesmcd2 Jesmcd2 I think (since I am not an expert / doctor) that evoked potentials just check the communication problems between our eyes and brain. I am not sure if neurological problems behind the eye may also cause seizures.

  • Your probably right about that. I do know that certain Comercial that flash have a tendency to bother me. I just change the channel when they come on. Easy pesy :)

  • I just had optical evoked potential tests in March. I have a copy of all the results but don't understand them. I was told by doc that all results are within normal ranges. Just had my regular eye doc exam On Tuesday and he also checked optical nerve and says my eyes 👀 are in great shape. My eye RX didn't even change.

  • @CalfeeChick That is good news for you CalfeeChick. I understand also that you never had visual problems in the past. Keep the test results as baseline measurement for future reference in case you need to do the test again in the coming years.

    I will be obliged if you could tell me some more info on your results. My own was 0,3 degrees delay in both eyes.

    What kind of units did you get, if you can understand the test results ? Was it measured in degrees also, as mine?

    Best regards


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