A Combination Camera With FAF Imaging
LESLIE GOLDBERG, ASSOCIATE EDITOR
With floor space tight and capital equipment budgets even tighter, busy retina practices increasingly rely on diagnostic instruments that offer versatility and a small footprint. Proponents say Canon's multifunction CX-1 camera fits the bill.
"The biggest benefit, other than its 15.1-megapixel resolution camera, is that it offers both mydriatic and nonmydriatic technologies with the added benefit of fundus autofluorescence function in both modes," says Ben Szirth, PhD, director of the Applied Vision Research Laboratory at New Jersey Medical School. "This technology is a noninvasive procedure that can tell the health of the RPE and give us a ‘heads up,’ especially in screening situations where we have limited time to evaluate individuals," says Dr. Szirth. "This is a small-footprint system with full capabilities such as swing and tilting of the camera head for peripheral imaging, along with stereo-pair assist photography in glaucoma imaging."
► Mydriatic and non-mydriatic hybrid digital retinal camera
Dr. Szirth says that in community-based screenings, he does not need to dilate patients and can still get fundus autofluorescence (FAF) images for better and faster diagnostic imaging capabilities. Another advantage, he notes, is that the CX-1 allows patients to stay at one camera and have all their imaging performed faster and more comfortably. The color imaging uses a low-light flash, which is helpful with photophobic or light-sensitive patients.
Dr. Szirth says the software is very intuitive for the user. It takes about five minutes for medical students to become familiar with all the functions when he trains them to take part in the screenings. He adds that retinal disease pick-up has gone up for specificity and, more importantly, the referral pattern is more precise for subspecialty evaluations. "We found that imaging lipofuscin has value in diabetic retinopathy and AMD, as well as glaucoma. These vision-threatening diseases represent the core program of our community outreach program," says Dr. Szirth.
He hopes that the software will soon incorporate tools where overlay color and FAF imaging will be possible by clicking an icon. "FAF can be useful in earlier detection of vision-threatening diseases and that translates to earlier referrals and earlier interventions — it's all about saving and preserving sight," Dr. Szirth concludes.
A FAF image taken with the CX-1.
Neil Notaroberto, MD, in private practice in Mandeville, LA, says that high-volume practices can save on cost and time with the camera because it eliminates the need for both a myd- and a non-myd camera.
"Having the FAF function is a huge boon to us. I feel that having FAF on my angiography camera helps eliminate the dual step of moving from the OCT to the angiography room," says Dr. Notaroberto. "More importantly, many new therapies are being developed for dry AMD. One important aspect being focused on is autofluorescence in this disease state. And not only in identification but in tracking changes in using pharmacologic therapy."
Dr. Notaroberto says that the upgraded the software is greatly improved. He compares the Canon CX-1 to a Mac computer: "It is intuitive and easy to use."
"Technicians who could never take an angiogram before now can — on their first try," says Dr. Notaroberto. "The CX-1 has a unique focusing system that allows you to focus on the retina without looking at the viewfinder. The reflective image on the cornea shows you whether or not you are in focus."
He says the only thing he would add is a more robust tracking software so that it would be possible to track changes in the retinal anatomy more accurately and easily.
For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com. RP