The procedure (known as oral fundus fluorescein angiography or oral FFA) uses a special coloured dye solution mixed into a sweet drink, which is then drunk by the child.
An ultra-widefield retinal imaging device then follows the flow of the dye into the eye and reveals the circulation of blood in the retina, the light sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye (shown above).
Traditionally, the coloured dye would have been injected into the child’s vein, which can be painful.
The study led by a team of four consultants, including Dr Irfan Khan supported by Dr Dk Khurram, Dr Syed Ali and Dr Igor Kozak, is the first undertaken in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to be published by JAMA Ophthalmology which ranks among the top clinical ophthalmology journals for impact.
Commenting on the innovation, Declan Flanagan, medical director at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Retinal disorders are one of the most common causes of sight loss in children. It’s so important that we get clear images of the back of the eye so we can accurately diagnose conditions to ensure that we offer the most appropriate treatment."
"The study suggests that drink solution technique is effective and it will hopefully make hospital visits much more pleasant for our young patients as it will reduce the need for painful injections.”
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