How Ultra-Widefield Imaging Can Boost Your Practice and Benefit Your Patients

May 12, 2022
7 min read
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As an eyecare professional, you constantly rely on retinal imaging as an indispensable tool to help establish a diagnosis. Since 2018, the advancement in ultra-widefield imaging (UWFI) has allowed for a wider fundus view—up to 200°—approximately 82% of the total retinal surface area.

One of the most commonly used devices to achieve this is the Optos ultra-wide camera (Optos PLC), which is a significant improvement compared to the traditional 30° to 60° devices. Using a scanning laser ophthalmoscope, the Optos provides single capture, non-mydriatic imaging of the retinal periphery without the need for a contact lens.

Advantages of ultra-widefield imaging

UWFI has revolutionized the diagnostic and therapeutic landscape of retinal diseases in a myriad of manners.

1) Most of the peripheral retina can be visualized using Optos UWFI. There is growing confirmation that UWFI provides information not readily available with traditional imaging techniques, including identifying peripheral retinal pathology that might otherwise be missed. Since many eye conditions first appear on the outer periphery and influence disease progression, UWFI can allow their early identification and timely management.

2) UWF images are characterized by an enhanced resolution (up to 2000 by 2000 pixels), a short processing time, and fast acquisition (within 0.25 seconds). This is particularly advantageous in your non-compliant patients who are unable to focus on multiple photographs, as seen in Figure 1A, below. It can also help with clinical efficiency, with less time needed to examine each patient.

Figure 1A illustrates exudative retinopathy in the left eye of a 19-year-old boy diagnosed with Coats disease, while in Figure 1B, UWF fluorescein angiography shows peripheral leakage requiring treatment.

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Figure 1

3) Easier examination of patients with small pupils or vitreous opacities.

4) UWFI provides a tangible source for patient education (e.g., demonstrating a retinal tear while discussing treatment options, such as laser retinopexy). Refer to Figure 2, below, which demonstrates a retinal hole in the periphery left eye of a 16-year-old asymptomatic boy.