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This abstract is assigned to session Poster session in O'Bistro
Presentation typeOB - poster
TitleAcute welder’s maculopathy
PurposeTo describe the case of a 28-year-old welder who develops bilateral phototoxic maculopathy without photokeratitis.
MethodsThe patient presented with blurred vision, one day after performing conventional arc welding with protective gear. Visual acuity is 0.3 in both eyes. Fundus examination reveals central foveal changes with an oval yellowish lesion. OCT demonstrates hyperreflectivity of the centre of the fovea with disruption of the RPE and photoreceptor layers, and a central hypofluorescent foveal lesion is visible on angiography. The patient shows gradual visual improvement and gradual recovery on OCT starting at the inner layers during follow-up. Five months later, the OCT image appears normal except a small persistent RPE disruption in the right eye. Final visual acuity recovers to 1.0 in both eyes.
ResultsSolar retinopathy from exposure to arc welding is clinically rare and a review of literature reveals only few similar publications correlating clinical and OCT findings. The main components of arc welding emission are ultraviolet (UV) , visible and infrared (IR) light. UV light is absorbed by the cornea and the lens, visible and IR light penetrate to the retina. In this particular case, the patient wore a protective mask which blocks UV light and prevented corneal epithelial injury, but not the dark filter to block the visible and IR light. In most cases, retinal injuries heal spontaneously without permanent vision loss. Severe burns of the macula on the other hand may lead to permanent loss of central vision.
ConclusionThis case illustrates the importance of wearing protective gear against a wide spectrum of light exposure during welding, ranging from IR to UV.
Authors 1
Last nameDEWILDE
InitialsJ
DepartmentOogheelkunde UZLeuven
CityLeuven
Authors 2
Last nameDEWILDE
InitialsE
DepartmentOogheelkunde UZLeuven
CityLeuven
Authors 3
Last nameSTALMANS
InitialsP
DepartmentOogheelkunde UZLeuven
CityLeuven
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