Ultraviolet fluorescence photography: patterns in established pterygia

Am J Ophthalmol. 2007 Jan;143(1):97-101. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2006.08.028. Epub 2006 Sep 28.


Purpose: To investigate established pterygia using our newly developed ultraviolet fluorescence photography (UVFP) system.

Design: Prospective observational case series.

Methods: setting: Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia. study population: Fourteen patients (both eyes) attending the Ophthalmology Clinic at Prince of Wales Hospital for assessment of their established pterygia. There were eight men and six women, with an age range of 26 to 62 years. A total of 15 (75%) of 20 had primary pterygia, and five (25%) of 20 had recurrent pterygia. There were no specific exclusion criteria. observation procedures: Ultraviolet and standard (control) photographs were taken of the nasal and temporal interpalpebral regions bilaterally. main outcome measures: The presence of established pterygia detected by standard photography and the corresponding presence and patterns of areas of fluorescence detected by UVFP.

Results: In the 14 patients, 20 established pterygia were identified on standard photography. On UVFP, four patterns of fluorescence of established pterygia were identified. Of the 20 pterygia, six (30%) of 20 demonstrated fluorescence at the leading edge of the pterygium, seven (35%) of 20 demonstrated fluorescence at the limbus, three (15%) of 20 demonstrated fluorescence at both the leading edge and the limbus, and four (20%) of 20 demonstrated no visible fluorescence.

Conclusions: In this study, we describe patterns of fluorescence in established pterygia by UVFP. We hypothesize that the areas of fluorescence represent areas of cellular activity within the pterygium. The patterns of fluorescence may be useful to further understand of pterygium growth and pathogenesis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fluorescence*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photography / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pterygium / classification
  • Pterygium / pathology*
  • Ultraviolet Rays