25 years of the European Fluorescein Angiography Club

Twenty five years of the European Fluorescein Angiography Club
by Jendo Oosterhuis
Paris, 12 december 1998

The evolution of the FAN-club.
It started in 1960 when I obtained the degree of doctor of medicine at the University of Amsterdam based on my thesis Retinopathia diabetica. This subject of special interest induced me to attend the joint meeting of the Irish Ophthalmological Society and the British Diabetes Association in Dublin in 1963. Is was so fascinated by the exhibits of angiograms of diabetic retinopathy that I immediately decided to start fluorescein angiography. I may have been the first one on the European continent to perform fluorescein angiography of the fundus of the eye. As in those days angiography equipment was not commercially available the increased power source for the flash was specially constructed; I combined it with a Nikon camera with motor transport.
I started my research, aiming at improvement of the quality of the angiograms. I succeeded by substituting the Kodak Wratten filters by Schott filters because of their higher transmission and selectivity.
Soon other eye clinics also started to perform fluorescein angiography. For a demonstration of cases and a joint discussion of the angiographic findings I organised several times a year angiography meetings in the Netherlands; the Dutch FAN-club was born, which is still active.
Several of my friends, such as Jean Jacques de Laey and Achim Wessing suggested to extend some of the FAN-club meetings by inviting ophthalmologists from other European countries. I organised such a meeting for the first time in Leyden in 1973 with the same pattern as in the Dutch FAN-club meetings of presenting and discussing cases. As this meeting was succesful we held the same year FAN-club meetings in Essen and in Ghent and in 1974 again in Leyden. There came more offers from members to organise meetings and a routine developed of two meetings a year.
Over the past 25 years the FANatics, a group of experts on whatever the posterior segment of the eye may show, retained a high clinical level both in the presentations and in the often very interesting discussions of cases. The vitality of the FAN-club has also maintained by a steady inflow over the years of enthusiastic and active new members, gradually forming a new FAN generation.
I feel that the European FAN-club has some very special features. The meetings are very informal with an atmosphere of being amongst friends, and in fact many fanatics became friends. After the presentation of cases there is sufficient time for discussion which nowadays is rather exceptional. There is no membership fee, therefore a treasurer is not needed. There is also no conference fee; nevertheless most of the FAN-club meetings were concluded by an excellent dinner. I especially mention the hospitality of the hosts of the meeting and their partners! - when they invited us for a most enjoyable evening and dinner at their home, and some of them did this more than once!
Chairing the FAN-club is now taken over by Anita Leys in full and often enthusiastic approval of the members. I am glad because I know she will lead the FAN-club into a good future.