Study shows that subthreshold laser treatment protocol effectively treats eyes with diabetic macular edema

Mountain View, CA-- A clinical study compared results obtained in the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME) using an IRIDEX laser and MicroPulse treatment protocol to those obtained using the recognized standard of care Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) laser protocol.

Mountain View, CA-- A clinical study compared results obtained in the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME) using an IRIDEX laser and MicroPulse treatment protocol to those obtained using the recognized standard of care Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) laser protocol.

The study1, performed at the University of Padova in Padua, Italy, prospectively randomized 62 eyes with clinically significant DME. Eyes were treated using either a MicroPulse subthreshold treatment protocol with the IRIDEX OcuLight SLx laser photocoagulator or the ETDRS photocoagulation protocol with an argon laser photocoagulator. At one year, both groups demonstrated a significantly improved central retinal thickness measurement and stable visual acuity. There was no significant difference in either of these parameters between groups. There was, however, a significant difference in retinal sensitivity measurements. Retinal sensitivity increased (improved) in the MicroPulse treated group and decreased in the ETDRS treated group. The authors of the study observed that the improvement in retinal sensitivity, an indication of improved central visual function that usually parallels a patient's subjective perception of their general vision quality, encourage the use of subthreshold MicroPulse laser, a less aggressive therapeutic approach, in the treatment of DME.

Moreover, the MicroPulse group showed no detectable signs of laser damage to retinal tissues in eyes, while all eyes in the ETDRS group developed localized laser scars.

1Vujosevic, S.; Bottega, E.; Casciano, M.; Pilotto, E.; Convento, E.; Midena, E. "Microperimetry and fundus autofluorescence in diabetic macular edema: Subthreshold micropulse diode laser versus modified early treatment diabetic retinopathy study laser photocoagulation." Retina 2010; 30(6): 908-916.


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