Optimization of anterior eye fluorescein viewing

Am J Ophthalmol. 2006 Oct;142(4):572-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2006.04.062.


Purpose: To optimize anterior eye fluorescein viewing and image capture.

Design: Prospective experimental investigation.

Methods: The spectral radiance of ten different models of slit-lamp blue luminance and the spectral transmission of three barrier filters were measured. Optimal clinical instillation of fluorescein was evaluated by a comparison of four different instillation methods of fluorescein into 10 subjects. Two methods used a floret, and two used minims of different concentration. The resulting fluorescence was evaluated for quenching effects and efficiency over time.

Results: Spectral radiance of the blue illumination typically had an average peak at 460 nm. Comparison between three slit-lamps of the same model showed a similar spectral radiance distribution. Of the slit-lamps examined, 8.3% to 50.6% of the illumination output was optimized for >80% fluorescein excitation, and 1.2% to 23.5% of the illumination overlapped with that emitted by the fluorophore. The barrier filters had an average cut-off at 510 to 520 nm. Quenching was observed for all methods of fluorescein instillation. The moistened floret and the 1% minim reached a useful level of fluorescence in on average approximately 20s ( approximately 2.5x faster than the saturated floret and 2% minim) and this lasted for approximately 160 seconds.

Conclusions: Most slit-lamps' blue light and yellow barrier filters are not optimal for fluorescein viewing and capture. Instillation of fluorescein using a moistened floret or 1% minim seems most clinically appropriate as lower quantities and concentrations of fluorescein improve the efficiency of clinical examination.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Eye Segment / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein / chemistry*
  • Fluorescence
  • Fluorophotometry*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies


  • Fluorescein