SELECTIVE RETINAL THERAPY WITH MICROSECOND EXPOSURES USING A CONTINUOUS LINE SCANNING LASER

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Abstract

Purpose:

To evaluate the safety, selectivity, and healing of retinal lesions created using a continuous line scanning laser.

Methods:

A 532-nm Nd:YAG laser (PASCAL) with retinal beam diameters of 40 μm and 66 μm was applied to 60 eyes of 30 Dutch-belted rabbits. Retinal exposure duration varied from 15 μs to 60 μs. Lesions were acutely assessed by ophthalmoscopy and fluorescein angiography. Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) flatmounts were evaluated with live-dead fluorescent assay. Histological analysis was performed at 7 time points from 1 hour to 2 months.

Results:

The ratios of the threshold of rupture and of ophthalmoscopic visibility to fluorescein angiography visibility (measures of safety and selectivity) increased with decreasing duration and beam diameter. Fluorescein angiography and live-dead fluorescent assay yielded similar thresholds of RPE damage. Above the ophthalmoscopic visibility threshold, histology showed focal RPE damage and photoreceptor loss at 1 day, without inner retinal effects. By 1 week, photoreceptor and RPE continuity was restored. By 1 month, photoreceptors appeared normal.

Conclusion:

Retinal therapy with a fast scanning continuous laser achieves selective targeting of the RPE and, at higher power, of the photoreceptors without permanent scarring or inner retinal damage. Continuous scanning laser can treat large retinal areas within standard eye fixation time.

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