Leicester hosts unique eye imaging course

A landmark course providing specialist knowledge on child eye conditions has been held at our University, attracting delegates from around the world.

The University of Leicester Ulverscroft Eye Unit – based at the Leicester Royal Infirmary - hosted the only Paediatric Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) training course in the world.This landmark two-day course, which is in its 3rd year, took place at the University’s Stamford Court, in Oadby. It attracted ophthalmologists and scientists from 14 countries with delegates travelling from as far as the USA, Europe and Israel.

OCT is a method of capturing ultra-high resolution 3D images of crucial structures of the eye such as the retina and optic nerve. Children have been deprived of this technology until the advent of the handheld OCT. Leicester has pioneered the use of this technology worldwide in the management of glaucoma, retinopathy of prematurity, malaria and nystagmus (rapid to-and-fro movements of the eyes). Handheld OCT can enable early diagnosis of retinal cancers (retinoblastoma) otherwise undetectable clinically, which can be life-saving in infants.

The programme is headed by Professor Irene Gottlob, Professor of Ophthalmology in the University’s Department of Neuroscience, Psychology & Behaviour. The University of Leicester Ulverscroft Eye Unit was the first centre in Europe to receive the cutting edge handheld OCT technology in 2011 and has since led the way in paediatric OCT on the global stage. Leicester’s cutting edge ophthalmology research is funded by the Medical Research Council and Ulverscroft Foundation.

Professor Gottlob said:  “It was an honour to host the 3rd Paediatric OCT Course here in Leicester. We were delighted to welcome delegates from around the world and share our experience in using this exciting and remarkable technology for the benefit of children worldwide.”