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Thursday, 23 February 2012

Corneal Abrasion Fluorescein

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(Left) Corneal abrasion stained with fluorescein. (Right) Corneal abrasion stained with fluorescein and highlighted by cobalt blue light.
Image source: www.aafp.org

The diagnosis of corneal abrasion can be confirmed by visualizing the cornea under cobalt-blue filtered light after the application of fluorescein, which will cause the abrasion to appear green.

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Corneal ulcer in a patient who wears contact lenses.
(Left) View without fluorescein stain. (Right) View with fluorescein stain.
The fluorescent eye test is useful in determining if there is a scratch or other problem with the surface of the cornea. It can also be used to detect foreign bodies on the surface of the eye, and determine if there is an injury to the eye or eye infection. The test is performed by administering dye onto the eye's surface. After the dye has thoroughly covered the eye a cobalt blue light is then directed on the eye. The light causes the dye to glow green. Abnormalities in the corneal epithelium will cause the dye to stain that region.

Fluorescein is a yellow-orange dye that is visible even when it is highly diluted. In ophthalmology, fluorescein is used in conjunction with blue light to detect foreign bodies in the eye and damage to the cornea. A test called angiography uses fluorescein to view blood flow in the retina and choroid of the eye, as well as to identify vascular disorders in the legs and other parts of the body. This dye also is used extensively in biochemical research.

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