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July 1973

Argon Laser Photocoagulation of Proliferative Sickle Retinopathy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Illinois Medical Center, Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, Chicago.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1973;90(1):35-44. doi:10.1001/archopht.1973.01000050037008

Retinal neovascular proliferations in 21 eyes of patients with sickling disorders were treated by argon laser photocoagulation. Nineteen eyes (90.5%) were free of perfused neovascular tissue at the time of follow-up, and 73 of 75 discrete neovascular patches (97%) were obliterated or non-perfused. The most effective technique of photocoagulation involved closure of feeder arterioles as they entered the neovascular patches. Vitreous hemorrhage occurred immediately or within the first week after photocoagulation in 14% of treatment sessions. All hemorrhages were minimal in amount and apparently inconsequential. Only one eye had a late, spontaneous vitreous hemorrhage. Induced field defects were clinically insignificant. Evidence suggests that argon laser photocoagulation is an effective treatment for proliferative sickle retinopathy. Whether or not it is more effective and less dangerous than xenon arc photocoagulation requires further evaluation.