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Maculopathy following exposure to visible and infrared radiation from a laser pointer: a clinical case study


Hanson, James V M; Sromicki, Julian; Mangold, Mario; Golling, Matthias; Gerth-Kahlert, Christina (2016). Maculopathy following exposure to visible and infrared radiation from a laser pointer: a clinical case study. Documenta ophthalmologica. Advances in ophthalmology, 132(2):147-155.

Abstract

PURPOSE: Laser pointer devices have become increasingly available in recent years, and their misuse has caused a number of ocular injuries. Online distribution channels permit trade in devices which may not conform to international standards in terms of their output power and spectral content. We present a case study of ocular injury caused by one such device.
METHODS: The patient was examined approximately 9 months following laser exposure using full-field and multifocal electroretinography (ERG and MF-ERG), electrooculography (EOG), and optical coherence tomography (OCT), in addition to a full ophthalmological examination. MF-ERG, OCT, and the ophthalmological examination were repeated 7 months after the first examination. The output of the laser pointer was measured.
RESULTS: Despite severe focal damage to the central retina visible fundoscopically and with OCT, all electrophysiological examinations were quantitatively normal; however, qualitatively the central responses of the MF-ERG appeared slightly reduced. When the MF-ERG was repeated 7 months later, all findings were normal. The laser pointer was found to emit both visible and infrared radiation in dangerous amounts.
CONCLUSION: Loss of retinal function following laser pointer injury may not always be detectable using standard electrophysiological tests. Exposure to non-visible radiation should be considered as a possible aggravating factor when assessing cases of alleged laser pointer injury.

Abstract

PURPOSE: Laser pointer devices have become increasingly available in recent years, and their misuse has caused a number of ocular injuries. Online distribution channels permit trade in devices which may not conform to international standards in terms of their output power and spectral content. We present a case study of ocular injury caused by one such device.
METHODS: The patient was examined approximately 9 months following laser exposure using full-field and multifocal electroretinography (ERG and MF-ERG), electrooculography (EOG), and optical coherence tomography (OCT), in addition to a full ophthalmological examination. MF-ERG, OCT, and the ophthalmological examination were repeated 7 months after the first examination. The output of the laser pointer was measured.
RESULTS: Despite severe focal damage to the central retina visible fundoscopically and with OCT, all electrophysiological examinations were quantitatively normal; however, qualitatively the central responses of the MF-ERG appeared slightly reduced. When the MF-ERG was repeated 7 months later, all findings were normal. The laser pointer was found to emit both visible and infrared radiation in dangerous amounts.
CONCLUSION: Loss of retinal function following laser pointer injury may not always be detectable using standard electrophysiological tests. Exposure to non-visible radiation should be considered as a possible aggravating factor when assessing cases of alleged laser pointer injury.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Ophthalmology Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:ERG; MF-ERG; OCT; Ocular laser injury
Date:26 February 2016
Deposited On:22 Mar 2016 18:54
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:12
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0012-4486
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10633-016-9530-5
PubMed ID:26921203

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Language: English
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