News Releases

May 7, 1998

New technology helps diagnose eye tumors and other blinding diseases in children

The Emory Eye Center recently acquired a new camera that is the most advanced technology available for detecting blinding retinal diseases in children.

The technology provides a high-resolution, 120-degree view of the retina. Standard cameras, which provide 30- to 60-degree views, miss the periphery of the retina. “The RetCam 120 is particularly useful for retinoblastoma, which can involve a large portion of the retina, and for retinopathy of prematurity, the leading cause of blindness in premature infants,” says Thomas Aaberg, Jr., MD, a retina surgeon and tumor specialist. “Early detection and medical or surgical intervention can help these children keep their sight, and in the case of retinoblastoma, save their lives.”

Retinoblastoma mainly affects young children and occurs in one in 20,000 live births. It can metastasize to other parts of the body, resulting in death. Retinopathy of prematurity is a condition that affects infants born at 32 weeks of gestation or earlier and occurs when the blood vessels on their retinas grow abnormally.

The RetCam will help ophthalmologists determine whether treatment is effective. It will allow Dr. Aaberg to participate in a National Cancer Institute clinical trial to evaluate new chemotherapeutic treatments for retinoblastoma. The camera has the capability to send clear images of the retina over the Internet for review at other eye centers and for collaborative clinical research. Emory will be one of only a handful of centers in the U.S. participating in the clinical trial.

Media Contact: Joy H. Bell

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