Transillumination for fundus examination was described in the past by Hagedorn,1 Weve,2 and Goldmann.3 It was not entirely satisfactory because of the redness of the image in which details of the fundus were difficult to discern. The method was therefore abandoned in favor of illumination through the pupil with the ophthalmoscope. Goldmann,3 Bangerter,4 and others still use transillumination for scleral localization of retinal breaks and Schepens7 for locating larger blood vessels to avoid puncture and hemorrhage.
During examination of the fundus for the measurement of choroidal thickness5 using filtered transillumination, details were observed that could not be seen with white light which rendered the fundus almost homogeneously red. As organic substances and biologic structures have individual maxima of light transmission and absorption, different filters must of necessity reveal or obscure specific details. Transillumination with filtered light was therefore investigated.
A transilluminator (Fig
SCHIRMER KE. Transillumination and Visualization of the Anterior Fundus. Arch Ophthalmol. 1964;71(4):475-480. doi:10.1001/archopht.1964.00970010491006