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Posted on: Monday 14 May, 2018 3:16 pm
Moorfields Eye Hospital Abu Dhabi develop innovative procedure to diagnose retinal problems in children

A medical study on diagnosing children undertaken in the UAE by a team of four consultants at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai and Moorfields Eye Hospital Abu Dhabi, including Dr Irfan Khan supported by Dr Dk Khurram, Dr Syed Ali and Dr Igor Kozak, has achieved the distinction of becoming the first medical study undertaken entirely in the UAE to be published by the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Ophthalmology. Consultants involved in the study have already begun to share the results with colleagues at international scientific meetings.  


The medical study relates to a new procedure developed by Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai in collaboration with Moorfields Eye Hospital Abu Dhabi, to diagnose retinal problems in children and avoid the use of injections in the vein, which can be painful and frightening for children and worrying for parents.


The new procedure (known as oral fundus fluorescein angiography or oral FFA) involves using a special coloured dye solution mixed into a sweet drink, which is then drunk by the child. An ultra-widefield retinal imaging device then follows the flow of the dye into the eye and reveals the circulation of blood in the retina, which is a sensitive film at the back of the eye and plays a vital role in our vision. Traditionally, the coloured dye would have been injected into the child’s vein, causing discomfort.

The UAE study included 18 children who were imaged at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai and Moorfields Eye Hospital Abu Dhabi, using this oral technique and advanced imaging device, with no side effects; and all of the patients have been treated successfully.


Commenting on the innovation and JAMA Ophthalmology publication, Declan Flanagan, Medical Director at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “Retinal disorders are one of the most common causes of sight loss in children. It’s so important that we get clear images of the back of the eye so we can accurately diagnose conditions to ensure that we offer the most appropriate treatment. The study suggests that drink solution technique is effective and it will hopefully make hospital visits much more pleasant for our young patients as it will reduce the need for painful injections. The publication of the UAE study by JAMA Ophthalmology is a great honour for our Paediatric Ophthalmology team at Moorfields Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It demonstrates innovation and patient-focus healthcare in the UAE.”

Mr. Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, CEO and Managing Director of United Eastern Medical Services in Abu Dhabi, the parent partner of Moorfields Eye Hospital Abu Dhabi, emphasized on the importance of this scientific study, which was conducted by the hospital’s physicians in Dubai in collaboration with Moorfields Eye Hospital Abu Dhabi. “The study opened new horizons to reach new techniques when it comes to the diagnosis of paediatric retina disorders, which makes UAE’s healthcare sector an active contributor with international medical and research centres in developing new diagnostic technologies and innovations. Our team were able to achieve this milestone with the support of the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi who has always supported medical research and innovations in the healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi.” 


Dr. Irfan Khan, Consultant Ophthalmologist with special interest in Paediatric eye conditions, Strabismus, Adult and Paediatric Cataract, Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, added: “This study has demonstrated that the oral administration of the coloured dye with the addition of modern imaging works very well. Our team is delighted to have been recognised by JAMA Ophthalmology with the publication of the study. I would like to convey my special acknowledgment to Dr Igor Kozak who has been instrumental in the publication of our study.”


Dr Syed Ali, Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital Abu Dhabi, “Since we started this technique, 30 children were imaged ranging from 4 – 16 years of age. Most of them were diagnosed with retina problems and were treated successfully. UAE is truly an innovative platform that allows physicians and other experts to explore new methodologies, innovations and more, and I am indeed proud to be practicing Paediatric Ophthalmology in UAE and specifically at Moorfields Eye Hospital Abu Dhabi.”


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