Before we get into the individual benefits of ultrasound biomicroscopy, I want to show you a video clip from our 12-part video series on the UBM. In this clip, Dr. Berstein describes his experience using a UBM:
How and Why Ultrasound Biomicroscopy Works
Ultrasound Biomicroscopy (UBM) has become an indispensable tool in the field of ophthalmic imaging.
UBM has the natural advantage of detecting ocular structures in the anterior segments of the eye clearly and non-invasively through the use of high frequency ultrasound waves that reflect off anatomy to create high resolution images.
In contrast, anterior Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) faces limited depth of penetration due to the limited ability of light to penetrate through opaque materials.
This restraint causes anterior OCT images to be confined to the anterior chamber only. According to the highly regarded Liwan Eye Study, epithelium, a pigment in the iris, limits infrared radiation transmission, and may limit the visualization of structures posterior to the iris.
Since the UBM’s inception in the early 90’s the technology has grown to offer features like high resolution live and recordable scans with sophisticated location and angle tracking that further expand on previously inaccessible data.
The 6 Procedural Advantages of UBM
Ultrasonic Waves have the natural advantage of not being obstructed by pigmentation and opaque structures in the eye, a limiting aspect of light-based tomography.
The Non-intrusive: The UBM procedure can be accomplished in two different ways
Immersion shell – similar to the immersion shell used for A-Scan measurements. The test time is short with no patient discomfort with the aid of an anesthetic drop.
Clear Scan® method – using the non-invasive Clear Scan® the patient can sit up without the use the use of the immersion shell technique.
A shallow learning curve allows user to learn the scanning technique and protocol quickly and easily, typically with only a few scans learning curve.
Essential Data: Anterior segment imaging affords ophthalmologists the ability to visualize and assess ciliary bodies, iris and zonules for abnormalities like tumors, cysts and trauma. The data from these scans can help ophthalmologists detect the development of various deteriorative conditions, as well as monitor the effectiveness of surgery and medications.
Ophthalmic UBM is an essential tool in ocular imaging that provides critical data, with minimal hardware and discomfort for the patient.
It is the only method available for early detection of various abnormalities, but is best used in conjunction with methods like OCT, which offer a distinct set of readings and signs of other deteriorative conditions.