Clinical use of ultrasound biomicroscopy

Ophthalmology. 1991 Mar;98(3):287-95. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(91)32298-x.


The authors have developed a method of obtaining images of cross-sections of the intact anterior globe at microscopic resolution. High-frequency ultrasound transducers (50-100 MHz) have been developed and incorporated into a clinical B-scan device capable of producing images in the living human eye to a depth of approximately 4 mm at an axial and lateral resolution approaching 20 microns. Clinical use of this instrument is no more difficult than conventional immersion ultrasonography. The authors' results in a series of 14 clinical cases have shown that this method can provide information unavailable from any other imaging technique. Anterior segment tumors difficult to define with conventional ultrasound can be measured and the extent of invasion determined. Differentiation of tissue on the basis of internal acoustic characteristics is aided by the very fine backscatter speckle patterns at these frequencies. Pathology behind anterior segment opacities can be imaged in detail and the ability to image angle structures in cross-section allows a new quantitative method of gonioscopy. The ability to define the relationship of the iris, posterior chamber, zonules, ciliary body, and lens is potentially helpful in understanding mechanisms of glaucoma. Ocular structures can be measured with increased accuracy. Clinical ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM) has shown significant potential as an aid in diagnoses of ocular disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Eye Segment / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ciliary Body / diagnostic imaging
  • Ciliary Body / pathology
  • Cornea / diagnostic imaging
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Equipment Design
  • Eye Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Eye Diseases / pathology
  • Eye Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Eye Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Microscopy
  • Ultrasonography / instrumentation