Longer term visual outcome of eyes with retinopathy of prematurity treated with cryotherapy or diode laser

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Visual outcome of 66 eyes in 37 patients who had undergone treatment with either cryotherapy or diode laser for threshold retinopathy of prematurity was assessed.


17 patients, representing 30 eyes treated with cryotherapy, were examined at between 56 and 98 months corrected age (median 68 months). 20 patients representing 36 eyes treated with diode laser, were examined at between 30 and 66 months corrected age (median 51 months). Structural outcome was categorised as: optimal-flat posterior pole; suboptimal-macular ectopia, optic nerve hypoplasia, retinal fold involving the macula, and retinal detachment involving the macula.


Optimal structural outcome was, in the absence of amblyopia, associated with optimal visual acuity (of 6/12 or better) in all cases, with most eyes achieving a visual acuity of 6/9 or 6/6. Suboptimal structural outcome was invariably associated with suboptimal visual acuity. Amblyopia was present in eight out of 20 cryotherapy treated eyes and in five out of 26 laser treated eyes with an optimal structural outcome. Refractive errors were significantly less in laser treated eyes as was the incidence of anisometropic amblyopia.


Eyes treated with either cryotherapy or diode laser for threshold retinopathy of prematurity with optimal structural outcome are associated with development of optimal visual acuity-that is, 6/12 or better. Treatment with either cryotherapy or laser does not in itself reduce the visual potential of these eyes.

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