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Am J Ophthalmol. 2006 Feb;141(2):294-8.

Ultraviolet fluorescence photography to detect early sun damage in the eyes of school-aged children.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Prince of Wales Hospital, and University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.



To develop a method to detect precursors of ocular sun damage using ultraviolet fluorescence photography (UVFP).


Observational cross-sectional study


settings: Preschool, primary, and high school in Sydney, Australia. study population: 71 children ages 3 to 15 years old (both eyes). Inclusion criteria were children attending the schools who gave consent. There were no exclusion criteria. observation procedures: UV and standard (control) photographs were taken of the nasal and temporal interpalpebral regions bilaterally. main outcome measures: Presence of areas of increased fluorescence detected by UVFP, or presence of pinguecula detected by standard photography.


Established pingueculae, on standard photography, were seen in seven of 71 (10%) children; all were 13 years of age or older. On UVFP, all of these pingueculae demonstrated fluorescence. In total, 23 of 71 (32%) had increased fluorescence detected on UVFP, including the seven of 23 (30%) with pingueculae. Of the remaining 16 of 23 (70%), the changes were only detectable using UVFP. Fluorescence on UVFP was seen in children ages 9 years and above, with prevalence increasing with age. The presence of fluorescence (in at least one region) was 0 of 15 (0%) for children ages 3 to 5 years, 0 of 12 (0%) of children ages 6 to 8 years, 6 of 23 (26%) for those ages 9 to 11 years, and 17 of 21 (81%) of those ages 12 to 15 years.


We hypothesize that the areas seen to fluoresce on UVFP but not detectable on control photography represent precursors for ophthalmohelioses. Our preliminary data strongly suggests that UVFP is a sensitive method for detecting early ocular sun damage occurring many years before clinical manifestations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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