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78-year-old patient has miniature telescope implanted in eye

The pioneering procedure is being used to improve the quality of life of patients with advanced age-related macular degeneration


BMJ Case Reports authors have described their treatment of a 78-year-old patient who had an Implantable Miniature Telescope (IMT) inserted in his eye.

The clinicians from Mater Private Hospital in Dublin described how the patient presented with end-stage dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

He had a cataract in his right eye extracted and an IMT implanted, which resulted in a short-term improvement in visual acuity.

The IMT is a miniaturised Galilean telescope which magnifies image size on the macula by more than two and a half times the original image size.

The authors note that while the device does not treat AMD pathology, intraocular magnifiers such as IMT can assist when medical therapy fails to maintain adequate vision.

“Though improvement in visual acuity is not always sustained in the long term, the temporary delay in further deterioration positively influences visual quality of life and is a useful consideration in this elderly population,” the authors noted.

The authors added that retinal imaging can be performed through the IMT device, assisting AMD monitoring and treatment.

“While colour photographs are hampered by glare/artefact, Zeiss Cirrus 5000 optical coherence tomography images can be successfully acquired,” they explained.