Clinical and Autofluorescence Findings in Eyes with Pinguecula and Pterygium


Purpose: To assess the autofluorescence size and properties of pterygium and pinguecula by anterior segment autofluorescence (AS-AF) imaging and demonstrate the difference of autofluorescence size presented in AS-AF imaging compared to the extend size of the conjunctival lesion measured by anterior segment slit-lamp photography (AS-SLE).

Methods: Twenty-five patients with primary pterygium and twenty-five with pinguecula were included in the study. In addition, 25 normal subjects were also enrolled as the control group. The AS-AF characteristics of pterygium and pinguecula lesions were analyzed. The size of lesions displayed in the AS-SLE photography versus the AS-AF images were also compared. AS-AF images were obtained using a Heidelberg retina angiograph which focused on the anterior segment. AS-SLE photography was acquired using a digital imaging system (BX900 HAAG-STREIT).

Results: There were 44 (58.7%) male and 31 (41.3%) female patients; 19 (76%) and 20 (80%) patients had bilateral pterygium and pinguecula, respectively. All pinguecula lesions reflected hyperautofluorescence pattern in the AS-AF imaging. In 24 (96%) patients, the hyperautofluoresecence pattern was larger than the size of the clinical lesions displayed with the AS-SLE photography. Twenty-one (84%) patients with pterygium reflected a hyperautofluorescence pattern in AS-AF images; in one (4%) patient, the hyperautofluorescence pattern was larger than the clinical lesion size and four (16%) patients had no autofluorescence patterns in the AS-AF images. In the control group, in 14 (56%) subjects, a hypoautofluorescent pattern was revealed in the conjunctiva in AS-AF images. However, in 11 (44%) patients, hyperautofluorescence patterns were detected.

Conclusion: AS-AF is a useful modality to monitor vascularization in conjunctival lesions. Pingueculae and pterygium show hyperautofluorescence in AS-AF imaging. The real size of the pinguecula lesions may be estimated with AS-AF characteristics, mostly presenting larger than the area size in AS-SLE photography. The autofluorescence size of the pterygium is smaller than the extent of visible pterygium in slit-lamp photography.


Autofluorescence; Pinguecula; Pterygium

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