LASER PHOTOCOAGULATION TO TREAT MACULAR SOFT DRUSEN IN AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION

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Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate the effect on subfoveal and nasal drusen when laser treatment is applied only to the soft drusen located in the temporal macula.

Methods

A prospective pilot study of 20 patients with confluent soft drusen involving the fovea was conducted. One spot of argon green laser (100-μm spot at 100 mW for 0.1 sec) was applied to each soft druse in the temporal macula.

Results

Treated and untreated drusen disappeared in all patients after mean times of 2 months and 10 months, respectively. The treated temporal drusen disappeared first, followed by the subfoveal and then the nasal drusen. Superonasal drusen persisted longer. Visual acuity improved by one line or more in 6 (30%) patients, remained unchanged in 13 (65%), and worsened in 1 (5%) patient. No treatment-related complications were observed after an 18-month follow-up period.

Conclusion

Treatment with laser photocoagulation caused resolution not only of treated soft drusen but also of untreated soft drusen located far from the laser scars in the nasal macula.

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