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Maculopathy from an accidental exposure to welding arc
  1. Min-Seok Kim1,
  2. Sang-Gil Lee2,
  3. Jae Yun Kim3 and
  4. Mo-Yeol Kang1,4
  1. 1 Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
  2. 2 Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Ulsan, South Korea
  3. 3 Myungdong St. Mary’s Eye Center, Seoul, South Korea
  4. 4 Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mo-Yeol Kang, snaptoon{at}


Welding light can cause photic retinal injury. We report binocular maculopathy induced by a brief exposure to electric arc welding light in a patient who could not equipped with protective device because of narrow space. A 47-year-old man performed electric arc welding for approximately 10–15 min without wearing protective device because of narrow space and subsequently experienced eye discomfort and decreased visual acuity. At the initial visit, his best corrected visual acuity was 0.5. Fundus examination, optical coherence tomography (OCT) and multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) were performed. OCT showed disruption in the ellipsoid zone, and mfERG amplitudes in the central 10° were markedly reduced in both eyes. The decrease in visual acuity had been noted for at least 18 months. Using the proper protective device is essential in welding, despite short time periods of work. For patients with welding-induced photokeratitis, doctors should also consider the possibility of photic retinal injury.

  • accidents, injuries
  • exposures
  • retina
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  • Contributors SGL provide patient’s information and clinical data. MSK and MYK collected, analysed and interpreted the data. JYK assessed clinical data. MSK and MYK authored the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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