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October 26, 1984


JAMA. 1984;252(16):2245-2246. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350160113033

Senile macular degeneration is rapidly becoming the most frequent cause of blindness of the aged population in the Western world. One of the most significant publications of the past 18 months is the report from the collaborative study of the National Eye Institute1 concerned with the photocoagulation treatment of this disease.

The study showed that eyes with evidence of a symptomatic choroidal neovascularization will benefit from light-coagulation treatment. Photocoagulation, therefore, is indicated only for a small minority of patients with senile macular degeneration, but it is a most important subgroup because symptomatic choroidal neovascularization is the most frequent cause for severe visual loss in this disease.

A similar study2 was undertaken on the macular changes in the so-called histoplasmosis syndrome, which occurs mainly in persons in the Midwestern states. The results were as convincing as those found for the senile macular degeneration study.

It can therefore be said