gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

Assessment of retinal funtion during treatment with Sildenafil

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author R. Becker - Zentrum für Augenheilkunde, Gießen
  • E. Kirchner-Pauli - Zentrum für Augenheilkunde, Gießen

Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogP 165

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2004

© 2004 Becker et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Sildenafil citrat (Viagra®) is mainly an inhibitor of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) in smooth muscle cells. Ophthalmological side effects are possible because there is also an inhibitory effect on PDE 6 of retinal photoreceptors. We wanted to find out if there are any effects on retinal function measured with the Ganzfeld-ERG and the multifocal ERG (mfERG) during treatment with sildenafil.


16 eyes from 8 patients (age 37.0 ± 8.2 years) were examined before and 3 months after start of treatment with sildenafil (3x50mg/d oral dose; reason for treatment: pulmonary hypertension). With the Ganzfeld-ERG, the 5 standard responses (photopic and scotopic) were recorded. Concerning mfERG, the First-Order Kernel (FOK) was recorded and the responses obtained from five different concentric rings for amplitude (nV/deg2, voltage difference between first trough and first peak of the scaled template) and implicit time (ms) for the FOK were summed. Statistics: Wilcoxon matched pairs signed rank test.


There were no statistically significant differences for the amplitudes and implicit-times of the a- and b-wave in the Ganzfeld-ERG (cone response, a-wave before/after 3 months: amplitude 42.4/45.0uV, implicit time 14.1/13.3ms). Amplitudes were decreasing with increasing retinal eccentricity, while there were no statistically significant differences for all rings between measurements before and 3 months after start of treatment; median values for ring 1 (nV/deg2 , before/ 3 months after start of treatment) 106.5/ 108. There also were no statistically significant differences for the implicit times for all rings; ring 1 (ms): 35.7/ 35.4.


Treatment with sildenafil did not show any statistically significant changes of Ganzfeld-ERG and mfERG suggesting that there is no negative effect of sildenafil at least concerning the photopic and scotopic response of the retina 3 months after start of treatment.