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Ocular fluorometry: standardization and instrumentation development

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The project has been set up to harmonize and standardize the various methodologies of ocular fluorometry, through the coordination of the participating centers to enable direct comparisons of results and make them available into a common data base. The group has been designated the European Clinical Network of Ocular Fluorometry (ECNOF). The achievements are as follows: agreement on common protocols for patient examination and data gathering; development of standardized methods, calibration procedures and protocols for the determination of several parameters using ocular fluorometry; development and testing of specially designed software for 3 main areas of clinical measurement: anterior segment, lens, and blood retinal barrier; establishment of adatabase of normal values for the different ocular fluorometry tests; demonstration that ocular fluorometry measurements may be performed reliably and in a reproducible manner in different centers; publication of a manual of ocular fluorometry; first steps of an atlas of ocular fluorophores; prototype development and comparisons with available instrumentation in the area of light scattering measurements in the aqueous, cornea and lens; evaluation of the possibilities offered by spectral analysis of the native fluorescence of the cornea, lens and retina; demonstration of the immediate clinical interest of measurements of corneal and lens fluorescence, particularly in diabetic patients; a simple, totally noninvasive procedure for measuring corneal fluorescence may become a retinopathy screening in diabetic patients; prototype development directed to improve axial resolution led to the conclusion that a target oriented modification of existing confocal scanning ophthalmoscope is the best option to improve axial resolution for the purpose of ocular fluorometry measurements.