On March 29, 2017, the Boston Children’s Hospital Ophthalmology Department became the first pediatric institution in the world to have the Macular Integrity Assessment (MAIA) scotopic microperimeter, an advanced ophthalmology diagnostic imager. According to its manufacturer (CenterVue, Padova, Italy), this machine is one of only a few located in the US at this time.
The instrument, which is already being used in studies of retinopathy of prematurity and juvenile macular degenerations, was ordered for Anne B. Fulton, MD, whose specializes in the study of retinal and visual function using molecular and structural approaches. Among her many scientific accomplishments, she and her research team showed that rhodopsin content scales the developmental increment in dark-adapted retinal and visual sensitivity.
Microperimetry combines fundus imaging, retinal sensitivity mapping, and fixation analysis while measuring visual field, eliminating errors caused by fixation losses, and noting patients’ adaptations in real time. Dr. Fulton’s team is using the scotopic microperimeter to measure dark-adapted thresholds in children, and have already developed an abbreviated testing procedure, ideal for younger patients who can’t sit still for very long. The group expects to use the MAIA in multipronged studies of juvenile macular degenerations, complementing their multifocal ERG and adaptive optics imaging results. They welcome all ophthalmologists to incorporate this unique instrument in their future studies.