Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
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Infrared imaging of cystoid macular edema.

BACKGROUND: Cystoid macular edema (CME), a cause of central visual loss, is described in various pathologies. Typically, the fluorescein angiogram confirms the diagnosis and provides qualitative information as to the extent of leakage. This study was performed to investigate the features of cysts and quantify the extent of CME using non-invasive infrared imaging.

METHODS: Eighteen eyes of 16 successive patients with CME in association with a broad spectrum of diseases were included in the study. The diagnosis of CME was established clinically and confirmed by fluorescein angiography. Digital infrared imaging was performed with a research scanning laser ophthalmoscope with different apertures, providing direct confocal and indirect imaging modes, to discriminate superficial features from deeper ones and to emphasize sources of multiple laterally scattered light.

RESULTS: CME was easily detected with infrared imaging in all eyes. Confocal mode visualized the cysts themselves, while indirect mode emphasized borders. Large central cysts were detected as distinct, non-confluent structures. In addition, folds detected with infrared imaging in the macula in 12 of the 18 eyes were not always observed clinically.

CONCLUSION: Infrared imaging provides a quick and safe diagnostic tool for patients with CME. The cystoid structures are readily localized and quantified, useful for monitoring CME. Despite differences in the pathophysiology, cysts did not differ qualitatively in a variety of diseases with infrared imaging.

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