Evaluation of lidocaine as an analgesic when added to hypertonic saline for sclerotherapy. (1/1386)

PURPOSE: The efficacy of sclerosing agents for the treatment of telangiectasias and reticular veins is well established. The injection of these agents is often associated with pain, and it is not uncommon for sclerotherapists to include lidocaine with the sclerosants in an attempt to reduce the pain associated with treatment. However, there are concerns that this may reduce the overall efficacy of the treatment because of dilution of the sclerosant. Patient comfort and overall outcome associated with treatment using HS with lidocaine (LIDO) versus that using HS alone was compared. METHODS: Forty-two patients were prospectively entered into the study and randomized blindly to sclerotherapy with 23.4% HS or 19% LIDO. Study subjects and treating physicians were blinded to the injection solution used. Injection sites were chosen for veins ranging in size from 0.1 to 3 mm. Photographs of the area to be treated were taken, and the patients rated their pain. They were then observed at regular intervals for four months, and clinical data was collected. Thirty-five subjects completed the full follow-up period, and photographs of the injected area were taken again. Three investigators blinded to the treatment assignment then evaluated the photographs and scored the treatment efficacy according to a standardized system. RESULTS: In the HS group, 61.9% (13 of 21) patients rated their pain as none or mild, whereas 90.5% (19 of 21) of patients in the LIDO group had no or mild discomfort. This difference is significant, with a P value of.034. There was no difference in the overall efficacy of treatment between the two groups. The groups had similar rates of vein thrombosis and skin necrosis. CONCLUSION: Although lidocaine is often used with sclerosing agents, there are no previous reports in the literature to evaluate its effectiveness in reducing the pain experienced by the patient. In this study, patients receiving LIDO experienced significantly less discomfort at the time of injection than patients who received HS alone. There were no differences in the effectiveness of treatment or in the incidence of complications between the two groups.  (+info)

Blood flow influences vascular growth during tumour angiogenesis. (2/1386)

Many factors play a role in tumour angiogenesis. We observed growing tumour vessels in vivo to study the relationship between blood flow and vascular enlargement. Mammary adenocarcinoma was implanted into Fisher-344 rat with dorsal skin-fold transparent chambers. Vascular growth was observed and recorded on videotape through a microscope for 6 h. Vascular networks were photographed and traced every 30 min to identify changes over time. Tumour sections were stained with Masson's trichrome and anti-Factor VIII-related antigen. Tumour growth was rapid enough for differences to be seen each hour. Vessels with a high blood flow showed an increase in diameter within a few hours and new branches formed from these vessels. In contrast, vessels without an increase in blood flow showed no change in diameter. Vessels within the interstitium surrounding the tumour were lined by endothelium that was positive for anti-Factor VIII-related antigen staining. Vessels in the tumour had extremely rare endothelial cells detectable by Masson's trichrome or anti-Factor VIII-related antigen staining. In conclusion, increased blood flow may cause vascular enlargement and some primitive vessels seem to lack endothelium.  (+info)

Reflective meniscometry: a non-invasive method to measure tear meniscus curvature. (3/1386)

AIMS: To devise a method to measure tear meniscus curvature by a non-invasive specular technique. METHODS: A photographic system was devised. The system consisted of a camera and an illuminated target with a series of black and white stripes oriented parallel to the axis of the lower tear meniscus. The target was mounted on a flash gun close to the objective of a Brown macrocamera and calibrated using a graduated series of glass capillaries of known diameter, ground down to expose the inner wall. It was then applied to normal human eyes (n = 45) to measure the tear meniscus curvature. A video system was also assessed which provided qualitative online information about the tear meniscus. RESULTS: Using the photographic system, measured values for capillary radii were in excellent agreement with theoretical calculations (r2 = 0.996, p < 0.0001). The radii of curvature of lower tear menisci in normal human subjects (mean 0.365 (SD 0.153) mm, range 0.128-0.736; n = 45) were similar to those reported in the literature. Both systems demonstrated variations in meniscus shape. The video system provided stable images of human menisci over prolonged periods of time and promises to be useful for the analysis of dynamic changes in meniscus volume. CONCLUSIONS: Reflective meniscometry is a non-invasive technique providing quantitative information about tear meniscus shape and volume and of potential value in the study of ocular surface disease.  (+info)

Comparison of the cost-effectiveness of three approaches to screening for and treating sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy. (4/1386)

The purpose of this study was to analyse and compare the costs involved in screening for and treating sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy in three different clinical settings. In the first setting, diabetologists screened using ophthalmoscopy and color photography, according to the St. Vincent Declaration guidelines, and selected patients for further assessment by a visiting ophthalmologist and for treatment in another hospital. In the second setting, all patients were regularly referred to ophthalmologists, either in the same hospital or elsewhere, for all aspects of eye care. In the third setting, screening was done again with ophthalmoscopy alone by diabetologists who followed the St. Vincent Declaration guidelines; however, further assessment and treatment were carried out in the eye department of the same hospital. Costs to the Italian National Health Service and to patients were calculated per screening performed and per patient subjected to laser treatment as a result of screening. A sensitivity analysis was then performed to simulate the costs of standardised patient populations going through the three different settings. It is concluded that absolute costs would be lower, both for the Italian National Health Service and for patients, if screening, assessment and treatment were all carried out in the same hospital. Equipping a diabetic clinic specially for screening would not be more expensive than delegating eye care to external parties, even for a hospital without an eye department. Moreover, delegating eye care more than doubles costs for patients. Screening for, assessing and treating sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy may be a cost-effective procedure for society as a whole in Italy.  (+info)

Inter- and intraobserver variation in the analysis of optic disc images: comparison of the Heidelberg retina tomograph and computer assisted planimetry. (5/1386)

AIMS: The development of imaging and measurement techniques has brought the prospect of greater objectivity in the measurement of optic disc features, and therefore better agreement between observers. The purpose of this study was to quantify and compare the variation between observers using two measurement devices. METHODS: Optic disc photographs and images from the Heidelberg retina tomograph (HRT) of 30 eyes of 30 subjects were presented to six observers for analysis, and to one observer on five separate occasions. Agreement between observers was studied by comparing the analysis of each observer with the median result of the other five, and expressed as the mean difference and standard deviation of differences between the observer and the median. Inter- and intraobserver variation was calculated as a coefficient of variation (mean SD/mean x 100). RESULTS: For planimetry, agreement between observers was dependent on observer experience, for the HRT it was independent. Agreement between observers (SD of differences as a percentage of the median) for optic disc area was 4.0% to 7.2% (planimetry) and 3.3% to 6.0% (HRT), for neuroretinal rim area it was 10.8% to 21.0% (planimetry) and 5.2% to 9.6% (HRT). The mean interobserver coefficient of variation for optic disc area was 8.1% (planimetry) and 4.4% (HRT), for neuroretinal rim area it was 16.3% (planimetry) and 8.1% (HRT), and (HRT only) for rim volume was 16.3%, and reference height 9.1%. HRT variability was greater for the software version 1.11 reference plane than for version 1.10. The intraobserver coefficient of variation for optic disc area was 1.5% (planimetry) and 2.4% (HRT), for neuroretinal rim area it was 4.0% (planimetry) and 4.5% (HRT). CONCLUSIONS: Variation between observers is greatly reduced by the HRT when compared with planimetry. However, levels of variation, which may be clinically significant, remain for variables that depend on the subjective drawing of the disc margin.  (+info)

Digital photography of digital imaging and communications in medicine-3 images from computers in the radiologist's office. (6/1386)

To fully take advantage of the widespread use of digital imaging systems and to update and eliminate redundant steps involved in medical radiographic publication, we present our experience of processing Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM)-3 digital images from the point of acquisition to the point of publisher-ready radiographic images without intervening hardcopies.  (+info)

Digital image capture and automated analysis of posterior capsular opacification. (7/1386)

PURPOSE: To develop and validate a digital imaging and analysis technique for assessing the extent of posterior capsular opacification after cataract surgery. METHODS: Retroillumination images of the posterior capsule were obtained by using a digital camera mounted on a slit lamp. The images were analyzed using an available image analysis software program. The image acquisition and analysis techniques were tested for face validity, reproducibility, and the ability to detect progression of capsular opacity over time. RESULTS: Digital retroillumination images were obtained without patient discomfort. Automated analysis of images correlated well with clinical grading both at slit lamp examination and when looking at the images themselves (Spearman's correlation coefficient >0.7). Analysis of images taken at different times showed high reproducibility (intraclass correlation >0.9), and the system was able to identify progression of capsular opacity over a 2-year period with a mean increase of 15.8% in progressors versus an increase of 0.6% in nonprogressors (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Digital retroillumination images of the posterior capsule can be obtained reliably, and automated analyses correlate well with clinical assessment. The system presented here uses commercially available instruments and software, and it is practical for use in longitudinal studies of posterior capsule opacification. It is reliable, easy to use, and can detect small changes in the percentage area covered by posterior capsule opacification over time.  (+info)

Measuring geographic atrophy in advanced age-related macular degeneration. (8/1386)

PURPOSE: To present a method developed for measuring areas of geographic atrophy (GA) in advanced age-related macular degeneration, METHODS: A microfilm reader projected the 30 degrees fundus photograph of the macula. Retinal landmarks, atrophic areas, and spared areas within the atrophy were traced, without access to drawings of other years. The total atrophic area was calculated, as was the atrophy within a four-disc-area circle entered on the estimated foveal center. The configuration of the atrophy was documented. RESULTS: Avoidable sources of discrepancy included variability in peripapillary atrophy seen on the photograph, and variability seen in the extent of the field. Reproducibility studies found a median absolute difference of 0.19 Macular Photocoagulation Study disc areas (DA) in total atrophy between repeat drawings, with 75% of repeat drawings having a difference of less than 0.33 DA. For central atrophy measures, there was a median difference of 0.08 DA, with 75% of pairs having a difference of less than 0.18 DA. Features making the definition of borders of GA difficult include the presence of drusen and pigmentary alteration, a fundus in which choroidal vessels are easily visible, and variation in the appearance of GA within a single area of atrophy. CONCLUSIONS: This method provides a reliable means of measuring the size of atrophic areas in GA and will be useful for measuring longitudinal change. It may be difficult to determine whether central spared areas are present, and correlation with visual acuity and macular perimetry may be helpful.  (+info)