Transillumination

sjc

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Transillumination is used in medical practice to look for disease. It is the shinning of a light through an organ or region of the body to look for abnormalities. I am a urologist and use it to look for diseases of the scrotum (testis tumor, hydrocele, spermatocele). Sorry no pictures! It can be used to examine the sinuses (sinusitis), teeth (caries, fractures), breasts (masses), chest (pneumothorax), infant abdomen (masses, hydronephrosis), finger (cysts, masses, subungual hematoma), skin (splinter removal).

Non-medical applications: distinguish raw eggs from hard boiled, check fluid levels of translucent containers (e.g. auto), makeshift lantern with glass of half milk/half water over a light on a flat surface (or light in the glass if waterproof), read letters through envelopes, preserve night vision by placing thumb over a light (makes dim, reddish light), entertain children by transilluminating fingers, hands, ears, nose, etc.

Please enjoy the pictures. Disclaimers: if you're sick, see a doc, don't diagnose yourself. Don't burn yourself. Thank you to my wife for letting me transilluminate her frontal sinus, to Emma, my 5 year old daughter for holding still, and to Bella my 4 year old daughter for being a goof ball! And thank you to Vinh for the D25Cvn which is my favorite EDC light.

Wife's frontal sinus (she'll be so mad that I took this on a bad hair day):
IMG_2399_zpsc5e5607b.jpg



With mood lighting (romantic I know):
IMG_2400_zps2d6e283a.jpg


Emma's maxillary sinus (transilluminated from orbit to mouth):

IMG_2392_zps0583f97c.jpg


Bella's ear:
IMG_2385_zps051aefaf.jpg


Emma's hand:
IMG_2367_zps7a9ac19c.jpg


My finger (notice the dorsal venous arch):
IMG_2379_zps482219e5.jpg


Isaac Newton said the thumb alone would convince him of the existence of God (and that was without an EagleTac D25Cvn!):
IMG_2381_zps0650de95.jpg



A few non-medical applications:

raw egg left, hard boiled right:
IMG_2296_zpsb5e3030f.jpg


You sealed an envelope and can't remember what is in it:
IMG_2403_zps43c45430.jpg


Thanks for reading. Please add your own ideas and pictures of things you can transilluminate.
 

kbuzbee

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Interesting post. I've noticed that effect with my hands. Never knew what it was called though. Thanks for that!

Now I have to go shove a D25C up MY nose ;)

Ken
 

jonwkng

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Nice photos, sjc! Certainly brings back fond memories of my medical student days. :)

Though, I wouldn't recommend using any of Vinh's creations to transilluminate. His lights get really toasty after a while.
 
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jonwkng

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*chuckles* Just realised it would be medically irresponsible for me to condone this. Nope, no foreign objects up the nose. No matter the size. :D Have seen and removed enough foreign objects from noses of kids already.
 

TEEJ

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If I accidentally got the Polarion PH40 stuck up my nose, I could look for it with the PH50 at least, so no biggie.

:D

And, Vinh's D25C (Ti) is one of my fav EDC too.
 

sjc

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I'm glad to see that this thread has quickly degenerated into a round table discussion on the pros and cons of transilluminating dehydrated nasal mucous, i.e. lighting up boogers.

As long as we are on boogs, (and I'm definitely not recommending this), but I have used a Fenix E05 (AAA light) to transilluminate my nose and I get cheap laughs every time from my little girls. Wife just thinks I'm weird and I'm encouraging bad behavior. But what does she know? At least I don't swallow nickels like my now 4 year old once did (enticing as it is).

BTW, I only use the D25Cvn on medium to avoid skin burns. Also, you'll get better results with room lights off. MM15vn could probably transilluminate an elephant.
 

sjc

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Nice photos, sjc! Certainly brings back fond memories of my medical student days. :)

Though, I wouldn't recommend using any of Vinh's creations to transilluminate. His lights get really toasty after a while.

Hi doc, what's your specialty? I hope we have an ENT on this forum so he can improve my sinus transillumination techniques. In my office we don't spend much time above the waist. That didn't sound quite right.
 

ven

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:laughing: great thread,i never knew there was an actual name or use being honest. I was "transing" the other week,was a d25cvn too :eek: with my hand,yes on medium was enough and fascinating too .My lad thought it was quite amusing ,especially my ears together with the help of the d25a :laughing: guess that's duel transillumination :laughing:

ear ear:p
 

sjc

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Yes but be careful of one thing: if you transilluminate your ear and the light comes out the other ear, see a neurologist!
 

TEEJ

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Yes but be careful of one thing: if you transilluminate your ear and the light comes out the other ear, see a neurologist!

Ironically I think at that point, there would be more use for a mortician. ..
 

jonwkng

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Hi doc, what's your specialty? I hope we have an ENT on this forum so he can improve my sinus transillumination techniques. In my office we don't spend much time above the waist. That didn't sound quite right.

I'm a Family Physician. General Practice. Lack of specialty to some. :) I see my fair share of pretty much everything.

Sinus transillumination is of limited value in children, for chronic sinusitis and many variables can impair its accuracy as a diagostic tool.

Here's a link to a site that I frequent, it has a section on transilluminating sinuses :- http://www.fpnotebook.com/ent/exam/SnsTrnslmntn.htm
 

sjc

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I'm a Family Physician. General Practice. Lack of specialty to some. :) I see my fair share of pretty much everything.

Sinus transillumination is of limited value in children, for chronic sinusitis and many variables can impair its accuracy as a diagostic tool.

Here's a link to a site that I frequent, it has a section on transilluminating sinuses :- http://www.fpnotebook.com/ent/exam/SnsTrnslmntn.htm

Good link Doc. Enjoyed the pictures. Thanks. Is medicine in Singapore heavily regulated, like everywhere else? (sorry, unrelated to thread)
 

sjc

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An acquaintance spoke of a relative who uses powerful flashlights to find difficult veins in his night time EMT work.

Great idea. I think every day use of medical transillumination is probably limited in the age of ultrasound, but vein location, splinter removal and scrotal applications are still practical. I tried using your friend's idea to find veins on my own forearm and it works great, even without being able to go through the entire arm. It markedly lights up the superficial veins. I'll have to show the nurses this trick.

Thank you to you and to your EMT friend.
 
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RI Chevy

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I am not privy to the tint of the light you mentioned (D25Cvn), as it sounds as if it is a custom light and LED. Have you experimented with different tints to see if any are better or worse at transillumination?
 

sjc

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I am not privy to the tint of the light you mentioned (D25Cvn), as it sounds as if it is a custom light and LED. Have you experimented with different tints to see if any are better or worse at transillumination?

Good question RI Chevy. Doubt that tints would make much difference because color rendering is not the issue with transillumination. It has more to do with beam intensity. If too bright, the skin gets too hot and could burn. If too dim, poor penetration and thus poor detail. Modded vs. stock lights should make little or no difference within reason, especially since we are not using the modded light on high or turbo.
 

sjc

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Here are some pics of transilluminated beverages using PD12vn on lowest setting, but any stable tail standing light will do. This could be used at a campsite to provide ambient light during a meal, for example. You could bury the flashlight in the soil with only the head sticking out and put the cup on top. Or you could drop the light directly into the drink.

1 part milk to about 10 parts water (doesn't look green in real life):
IMG_2414_zpsf98860b1.jpg


Very dilute milk (probably 1:50 milk to water). Reverse cone beam of PD12vn is visible in the liquid:
IMG_2416_zpsd4746154.jpg


Iced tea (which I am now enjoying), again nicely displaying the reverse cone beam of the PD12vn. You could add some milk to the iced tea for increased diffusion (if you don't mind ruining your drink):
IMG_2417_zps25a90071.jpg


Cheers!
 

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