Scanning laser ophthalmoscopy. Clinical applications

Ophthalmology. 1982 Jul;89(7):852-7. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(82)34714-4.


The scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO) provides a high-quality television image of the retina using less than 1/1000 of the light required for conventional indirect ophthalmoscopy. The SLO employs a new ophthalmoscopic principle in which a dim laser beam scans across the fundus, and light is collected only from one retinal point at a time. Since the instrument is highly light efficient, illumination levels are comfortable for the patient, and fluorescein angiography can be performed with one tenth of the usual fluorescein dose. Since a continuous, large depth of field view is displayed on the SLO screen and stored on video tape, repeated dynamic inspection of the vitreous, retina and vitreoretinal interface is afforded. In addition, any graphical material that can be displayed on a microcomputer monitor (such as text of video games) can also be impressed on the retinal pattern formed by the sweeping laser beam. The graphical material is thus observed directly by the patient and on the patient's retina by the clinician. Since the exact retinal locus of each point in the graphical material is viewed directly, it is possible to perform perimetry directly on the retina, to measure acuity at arbitrary retinal loci, to study how patients with macular disease use residual functional retina for reading, and to perform distortometry with a retinal (Amsler-type) grid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Lasers*
  • Macula Lutea
  • Microcomputers
  • Ophthalmoscopes
  • Ophthalmoscopy / methods*
  • Retinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Visual Field Tests / instrumentation
  • Visual Field Tests / methods