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Assess ERG responses recorded with skin electrodes in children with retinal dystrophies.ERG responses were recorded using skin electrodes in 17 healthy children and 43 paediatric patients with retinal dystrophy. Subjects were aged 4-14 years. ERG responses were recorded to full-field stimuli similar to those recommended in the ISCEV standard. The type of retinal dystrophy was classified on the basis of standard clinical criteria and the ERG responses were compared with those of the age-matched controls.ERG responses were abnormal in every patient. The specific type of ERG abnormality was also consistent with the clinical findings in the majority of patients. Rod responses were abnormal in every patient with a rod-cone dystrophy and cone responses were also abnormal in the majority of patients. Those patients with cone dystrophy or rod monochromatism had normal or near normal rod responses but sub-normal or absent cone responses. Patients with CSNB or XLRS had a sub-normal b-wave but normal amplitude a-wave.ERGs can be recorded successfully with skin electrodes in paediatric patients and responses can aid the diagnosis of the type of retinal dystrophy.