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September 1995

Comparison of Scleral Tensile Strength After Transscleral Retinal Cryopexy, Diathermy, and Diode Laser Photocoagulation

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The authors have no proprietary interests in any of the products described in this study.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1995;113(9):1195-1199. doi:10.1001/archopht.1995.01100090121033

Objectives:  To determine the effect of transscleral diode photocoagulation on the tensile strength of sclera in an experimental rabbit model and to compare it with that of transscleral cryotherapy and diathermy.

Methods:  Twenty-four Dutch-belted rabbits received one of the following three treatment modalities in one eye: (1) transscleral cryotherapy, (2) transscleral diathermy, or (3) transscleral diode laser photocoagulation. The opposite eye served as a paired control. Tensile strength measurements of scleral strips excised from areas of treatment were obtained 6 weeks later.

Results:  No statistically significant difference in mean tensile strength was observed between eyes receiving transscleral cryopexy (n=7) or transscleral diode photocoagulation (n=8) and their corresponding, paired, control eyes. In contrast, transscleral diathermy reduced mean scleral tensile strength to 26% of that of the paired control eyes (n=8, P=.0001).

Conclusions:  In this rabbit model, scleral weakening is significant following transscleral diathermy while transscleral cryopexy or transscleral diode photocoagulation produces no significant weakening relative to paired, untreated controls.