The Glaucoma Service of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary is at the forefront of innovation in diagnostic and therapeutic advances in the understanding and treatment of glaucoma. Research into the causes of glaucoma is leading to new, innovative, and more accurate and successful methods of treatment.
Advances in our ability to image small structures within the eye and their relationships to one another are rapidly altering our understanding of the disease. This research has been the core of the Ocular Imaging Center, where new diagnostic tools are advancing our understanding of the causes of glaucoma. These imaging tools include ultrasound biomicroscopy, optical coherence tomography, confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, and short-wavelength (blue on yellow) perimetry.
The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary also serves as a regional center two of the National Eye Institute's nationwide glaucoma clinical research trials.
The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary has an impressive roster of research accomplishments. Throughout its history, researchers have made discoveries that have contributed to our basic understanding of ocular diseases and helped to advance measures for treatment.
Today, scientists and physicians work in seven distinct areas, each devoted to enhancing the Infirmary’s focus on the advancement of ophthalmology though the development of technologies and involvement in clinical investigations aimed at conquering eye disease, preventing blindness, and restoring vision.
Glaucoma technical services, directed by Mr. Arthur Tortorelli, continues to expand in the numbers of services provided and performed. At the current time 2 Goldmann and 2 Humphrey perimeter systems operate full-time, 6 days per week.
In 1994, 2874 computerized fields and 2039 Goldmann visual fields were obtained, continuing the shift towards automation and computerization. In addition, 77 tonograms were performed.
Currently, in addition to Mr. Tortorelli, the glaucoma technical staff consists of 4 full-time and 2 part-time persons.
The tissue culture laboratory continues to be productive under the direction of Professor Dan Ning Hu, Director of the Tissue Culture Laboratory. Isolation of cell lines which produce exfoliation material remains a high priority.
Other glaucoma-related work involved tissue fibroblast proliferation, response to antifibrosis agents, retinal ganglion cell culture.
Clinical human studies and basic science studies using cadaver and chick eyes using ultrasound biomicroscopy have made the Ocular Imaging Center at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary the international leader in this emerging technology.
Key projects have involved the pathophysiology and treatment of pigment dispersion syndrome, malignant glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma, surgical complications, ciliary body architecture, and uveitis.
In 1994, the Infirmary received a prototype device for optical coherence tomography. This research tool provides imaging of the retina and nerve fiber layer at a resolution approaching 17 microns.
The recent acquisition of a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope (Heidelberg retinal tomograph) has greatly enhanced our ability to image the contour of the optic nerve head with high precision.
These technologies are providing the basis for a better understanding of the glaucomas. Results of numerous research projects have been presented at major scientific meetings in the United States, Europe, and Asia.