Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Fluorescein test

Contributor(s): Ralph Hamor

Introduction

  • Stains precorneal tear film, tears and exposed corneal stroma (strongly hydrophilic).
  • Fluorescein will not penetrate intact cornea (high lipid content).
  • Does not stain exposed Descemet's membrane.
  • Stains corneal epithelial defects green Cornea ulcer 07 - Boxer and conjunctival ulcers yellow-orange, although the value of the latter property is reduced by poor contrast.
  • Stains aqueous very bright green.

Uses

  • Check integrity of corneal epithelium, eg corneal ulceration Ulcerative keratitis.
  • Test of nasolacrimal duct patency.
  • Intravenous use to detect retinal vascular abnormalities, inflammatory lesions and intra-ocular neoplasms (fluorescein angiography - specialised application).
  • Staining enhanced under ultraviolet light.

Advantages

  • Easy test to perform (with exception of intravenous use).
  • Minimal equipment required.
  • Rapid result.
  • Provides clinically important information.

Disadvantages

  • May obtain false impression of staining if eye is not irrigated with saline after fluorescein is applied.
  • False negative results may be seen when testing nasolacrimal drainage in brachycephalic dogs, as duct may open inside mouth. Open mouth and check staining on soft palate.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Gelatt K N (1999)Ocular Examination and Diagnostic techniques.In:Veterinary Ophthalmology.3rd edn. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.
  • Severin G A (1996)Examination of the Eye.In:Severin's Veterinary Ophthalmology Notes.3rd edn.


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