[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 1979

Retinal Light Exposure From Operation Microscopes

Author Affiliations

From The Wilmer Institute, The Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore (Dr Calkins), and The Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md (Mr Hochheimer).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1979;97(12):2363-2367. doi:10.1001/archopht.1979.01020020579017

• Several popular surgical microscopes were measured for source radiance. A method has been devised for calculating patient retinal exposure from these instruments. Retinal irradiance is seen to be surprisingly high, assuming dilated pupils and clear media. It ranges from 0.10 to 0.97 W/sq cm. This is one to ten times higher than that produced by an indirect ophthalmoscope. There is evidence linking light exposure during surgery to cystoid maculopathy (Irvine-Gass syndrome).

Littman H:  A new operation microscope . Klin Monatsbl Augenheilkd 124:473-476, 1954.
American National Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers. ANSI publication Z136.1-1973. New York, American National Standards Institute, 1973.
Fuller D, Machemer R, Knighton RW:  Retinal damage produced by intraocular fiber optic light . Am J Ophthalmol 85:519-537, 1978.
Hochheimer BF, D'Anna SA, Calkins JL: Retinal damage from light. Am J Ophthalmol, to be published.
Friedman E, Kuwabara T:  The retinal pigment epithelium: IV. The damaging effects of radiant energy . Arch Ophthalmol 80:265-279, 1968.Article
Tso MO:  Photic maculopathy in rhesus monkey, a light and electron microscopic study . Invest Ophthalmol 12:17-34, 1973.
Cavonius CR, Elgin S, Robbins DO:  Thresholds for damage to the human retina by white light . Exp Eye Res 19:543-548, 1974.Article
Dawson WW, Herron WL:  Retinal illumination during indirect ophthalmoscopy: Subsequent dark adaptation . Invest Ophthalmol 9:89-96, 1970.
Noell WK, Walker VS, Kang BS, et al:  Retinal damage by light in rats . Invest Ophthalmol 5:450-472, 1966.
Anderson FA: Biological Bases for and Other Aspects of a Performance Standard for Laser Products. US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, publication (FDA) 75-8004, July 1974.
VanPelt WF, Payne WR, Peterson RW: A Review of Selected Bioeffects Thresholds for Various Spectral Ranges of Light. US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, publication (FDA) 74-8010, June 1973.
Geeraets WJ, Ham WT Jr, Williams RC, et al:  Laser versus light coagulator: A funduscopic and histologic study of chorioretinal injury as a function of exposure time . Fed Proc 24:S-48, 1965.
Sliney DH, Freasier BC:  Evaluation of optical radiation hazards . Appl Opt 12:1-24, 1973.Article
Sperling HG: Functional changes and cellular damage associated with two regimes of moderately intense blue light exposure in Rhesus monkey retina. Abstract presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology spring meeting, Sarasota Fla, May 5, 1978.
Ham WT, Mueller HA, Sliney DH:  Retinal sensitivity to damage from short wavelength light . Nature 260:153-155, 1976.Article
Henry MM, Henry LM, Henry LM:  A possible cause of chronic cystic maculopathy . Ann Ophthalmol 9:455-457, 1977.
Hitchings RA, Chisholm IH, Bird AC:  Aphakic macular edema: Incidence and pathogenesis . Invest Ophthalmol 14:68-72, 1975.
Irvine AR, Bresky R, Crowder BM, et al:  Macular edema after cataract extraction . Ann Ophthalmol 3:1234-1240, 1971.
Tso MO, Fine BS, Zimmerman LE:  Photopic maculopathy produced by the indirect ophthalmoscope: I. Clinical and histopathologic study . Am J Ophthalmol 73:686-699, 1972.
Calkins JL, Hochheimer BF: Retinal light exposure from ophthalmoscopes, slit lamps, and overhead surgical lamps: An analysis of potential hazards. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, to be published.