Heidelberg Engineering announced the reintroduction of its HRT3 Rostock Cornea Module (RCM) globally to offer in vivo corneal confocal microscopy in its anterior segment product portfolio, supporting cornea specialists worldwide to further improve patient care.
HRT3 RCM is a compact ophthalmic device that uses confocal scanning laser microscopy to provide high-resolution images of the cornea, the conjunctiva or the limbus at the cellular level. The company collaborated with the research group of Prof. Dr. Rudolf Guthoff at the University of Rostock, Germany, to develop a dedicated lens and software application for the HRT platform that enables in vivo microscopy of the cornea.
The resulting HRT3 RCM provides unique en face images of corneal cells and structures. It scans the cornea with a field of view of up to 400 x 400 μm, resulting in high-resolution images that allow the user to navigate through all corneal layers—including the subdifferentiation of various epithelial cell layers—identify keratocytes subpopulations, and even visualize the corneal subbasal nerve plexus. This comprehensive in vivo assessment of the cornea can aid clinicians in the diagnosis and monitoring of corneal pathologies, pre- and post-surgery evaluation, the assessment of dry eye disease, and in the evaluation of corneal nerve structure in diabetic patients.
“The relaunch of the HRT3 RCM is exciting as this unique imaging device aids the ophthalmologist in the diagnosis of corneal diseases by allowing imaging at a cellular level. The high-resolution images have been pivotal for visualization of corneal infections such as acanthamoeba and fungi, as well as quantification of corneal nerves in patients with diabetes mellitus and dry eye disease,” Jaya Chidambaram, BSc (Hons), MBBS, MRCOphth, PhD, Senior Lecturer, University of Manchester, UK, said in a news release. “The HRT3 RCM is a very promising tool for both the clinician wanting to make a diagnosis in the clinic, as well as researchers interested in the cellular basis of disease, thus facilitating in vivo histology.”
HRT3 RCM will be relaunched in Spring 2020, including a new headrest for corneal assessment. It will also integrate into the company’s HEYEX 2 image management software environment, which enables new functionalities for streamlined workflows, such as automated report generation and archiving, or drag-and-drop exports for paperless data sharing.
“In addition to the contribution the HRT3 RCM has made to scientific research, there is an unmet clinical need for high-resolution in vivo corneal microscopy. We have decided to renew the HRT3 RCM globally both to advance science and improve patient care,” Erich E. Bangert, Vice President of Sales & Service, Heidelberg Engineering, said in the news release.
With its ability to investigate the cornea at the cellular level, HRT3 RCM is expected to empower clinicians in fast-growing clinical areas such as dry eye disease, infectious corneal diseases, corneal dystrophies, diabetic neuropathy, as well as refractive and corneal treatment surgery.