Effect of commercial dilating agents on laser flare-cell measurements

Can J Ophthalmol. 1996 Dec;31(7):362-5.


Objective: To compare the effect of tropicamide alone and tropicamide-phenylephrine on anterior chamber flare and cell measurements obtained with a laser flare-cell meter.

Design: Prospective study.

Setting: Gimbel Eye Centre, Calgary.

Subjects: Twenty white subjects (10 with blue irides and 10 with brown irides) aged 24 to 45 (mean 30.2) years without any known systemic or ocular disease.

Interventions: Laser flare-cell measurements were obtained 30 minutes after pupillary dilation with 1% tropicamide in one eye and a combination drop of 0.8% tropicamide and 5% phenylephrine in the other eye. The average of five readings was taken for each eye.

Outcome measures: Flare and cell measurements.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference in flare photon count or cell count between the eyes dilated with tropicamide and those dilated with tropicamide-phenylephrine. In addition, iris colour was not found to have a significant effect on flare and cell measurements.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that pupillary dilation for laser flare-cell measurements can be done with either mydriatic agent in healthy white subjects of any eye colour without significant effects on the measurements. Further study is needed to determine whether the same is true in older subjects.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Anterior Chamber / cytology*
  • Anterior Chamber / drug effects
  • Blood-Aqueous Barrier / drug effects*
  • Cell Count
  • Drug Combinations
  • Eye Color
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mydriatics / administration & dosage*
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Phenylephrine / administration & dosage
  • Phenylephrine / pharmacology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pupil / drug effects
  • Tropicamide / administration & dosage
  • Tropicamide / pharmacology*


  • Drug Combinations
  • Mydriatics
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Phenylephrine
  • Tropicamide