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Cover Focus | Jul 2015

Highlights of the Pentacam HR in Clinical Practice

In ophthalmology, we have become accustomed to acquiring innovative technologies before their usefulness is fully established in clinical practice. When this is the case, sometimes it can take a while to develop the protocols required to make the instrument invaluable in everyday practice. Even though its functions may be expanded in the future, the Pentacam HR (Oculus Optikgeräte) is a clinically established instrument with a powerfully organized software interface focused on the most relevant clinical applications.

The Pentacam HR is an indispensable tool in my clinical practice, to such an extent that I can hardly imagine how our clinical protocols would have to be modified if we were unable to use it. Beyond screening for refractive surgery—which I think has been improved considerably with the Pentacam HR system—the device is indispensable for us in the preoperative assessment and follow-up of phakic IOL patients. We also use it to estimate the expected visual acuity in premium cataract surgery and for intrastromal corneal ring segment implantation, among other applications.

In comparison with Placido–disc-imaging technology, the Pentacam HR provides a higher level of corneal evaluation, with less interference of external artifacts and more information beyond the anterior corneal surface. In comparison with other recent diagnostic instruments such as the Orbscan (Bausch + Lomb), corneal opacities and irregularities have less impact on total corneal measurement with the Pentacam HR.

Additionally, the Pentacam HR has a greater number of clinical applications than anterior chamber OCT devices or the Cassini corneal topographer (i-Optics). I have not had the opportunity to work with other Scheimpflug systems, but I think that the collaborative work of Oculus with clinical researchers such as Holladay, Belin, and Ambrósio has resulted in an instrument with powerful clinical applications that makes it definitively different from other systems available today.

Joaquín Fernández, MD
• Medical Director, QVision, Almería, Spain
• Financial disclosure: None