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Br J Ophthalmol. 2007 Apr;91(4):551-7.

Recent advances in ophthalmic anterior segment imaging: a new era for ophthalmic diagnosis?

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Southampton Eye Unit, Southampton General Hospital, UK.


Anterior segment imaging is a rapidly advancing field of ophthalmology. New imaging modalities, such as rotating Scheimpflug imaging (Pentacam-Scheimpflug) and anterior segment optical coherence tomography (Visante OCT and Slit-Lamp OCT), have recently become commercially available. These new modalities supplement the more established imaging devices of Orbscan scanning slit topography and ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM). All devices promise quantitative information and qualitative imaging of the cornea and anterior chamber. They provide a quantitative angle estimation by calculating the angle between the iris surface and the posterior corneal surface. Direct angle visualisation is possible with the OCT devices and UBM; they provide images of the scleral spur, ciliary body, ciliary sulcus and even canal of Schlemm in some eyes. Pentacam-Scheimpflug can measure net corneal power, a feature particularly useful for cataract patients having undergone previous corneal surgery. Anterior segment OCT can measure corneal flap depth following LASIK and anterior chamber width prior to phakic intraocular lens implantation. The arrival of the new imaging devices may herald the dawn of a new era for ophthalmic diagnosis, particularly in view of the ease and non-contact nature of examination.

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