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Imaging of optic nerve head drusen with the scanning laser ophthalmoscope
  1. R J Haynes,
  2. A Manivannan,
  3. S Walker,
  4. P F Sharp,
  5. J V Forrester
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, University of Aberdeen Medical School, Aberdeen
  1. Mr R J Haynes, 23 Hollinwell Avenue, Wollaton, Nottingham NG8 1JY.


BACKGROUND Optic nerve head drusen may present diagnostic difficulties in cases of disc swelling. Imaging of the nerve in a search for drusen is often inconclusive, especially in children, where drusen may be buried below the surface of the nerve head.

METHODS A small study was carried out using a scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO) with an infrared confocal facility to scan deep within optic discs in an attempt to image drusen.

RESULTS The SLO was able to demonstrate superficial and buried drusen (using the infrared confocal facility). The superiority of the SLO over ultrasound in the presence of lens opacity was revealed, as the SLO simultaneously demonstrated both drusen and the associated anomalous disc features which are not detected by ultrasound.

CONCLUSION The SLO can help in the diagnosis of optic disc drusen especially in difficult cases where lens opacity or buried drusen hinders their definitive diagnosis.

  • ophthalmoscopy
  • scanning laser opthalmoscope
  • optic nerve drusen
  • fundus photography
  • B-mode ultrasonography

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