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Transillumination of the Abdomen in Infants

Howard C. Mofenson, MD; Joseph Greensher, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1968;115(4):428-431. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1968.02100010430004.
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TRANSILLUMINATION pertains to the inspection of a cavity's interior by directing a strong light through its walls. Visualization of the cavity and its contents depends on the clarity of the fluids contained, the thickness of the overlying tissues, the ratio of the intensity of the light source to the illumination in the room, and the adaptation of the examiner's eyes.

This technique is already being used to evaluate the frontal and maxillary sinuses, breast masses, scrotal masses, and, recently, the infant's cranium and its contents.1-4 Transillumination of the ventricular septum for detection of occult septal defects has proved useful to the cardiac surgeon5 and, in vesicovaginal fistula investigation, to the gynecologist.6 In addition, we have utilized transillumination of the abdominal cavity in infants under 1 year of age as an additional diagnostic tool.

The successful use of this technique would make it worthy of more definitive study.


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