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An exophthalmometer that can fit in your pocket?

Title of Article: Using Smartphone Exophthalmometry to Measure Eyeball Protrusion


What are the key takeaway points from this article?

Hertel exophthalmometers are devices that are used to measure proptosis (eye protrusion) in a patient’s eyes. These devices are typically found in ophthalmology clinics, however, they are not commonly seen in the office of family physicians or in the emergency department. Popov et al. set out to create a smartphone application to measure the degree of proptosis, as they state that the readings of Hertel exophthalmometers are prone to errors.


They measured the proptosis of 39 participants, including healthy individuals along with those with Graves’ orbitopathy and other intraorbital conditions. They compared the measurements between their smartphone application, the Hertel exophthalmometer and a high-resolution 3D scan. There was no significant difference between the three measurement methods. In fact, the smartphone application had a slightly better interoperator agreement compared to the exophthalmometer. The researchers found an accuracy and precision agreement intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.89 and 0.93 for the smartphone application compared to the Hertel exophthalmometer and the 3D scan, respectively.


Popov et al. showed that high accuracy and precision, inter-operator reliability, and test-retest reliability can be obtained using their smartphone application. This application may provide a convenient method for physicians to measure exophthalmos in patients being referred to ophthalmologists for thyroid eye disease and other intraorbital conditions.


Publication Date: September 21, 2023


Reference: Popov T, Fierz FC, Bockisch CJ, Weber KP. Using Smartphone Exophthalmometry to Measure Eyeball Protrusion. JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online September 21, 2023. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2023.4044


Summary by: Daniel Lamoureux


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