Laser photocoagulation is currently employed in the treatment of glaucoma and in the development of a model of pressure-induced optic atrophy. Three articles in this issue of the Archives discuss recent advances in both the clinical and experimental use of the laser in glaucoma research.1-3
The study described by Pederson and Gaasterland1 used a glaucoma model developed by Gaasterland and Kupfer4 in nonhuman primates, in which the trabecular meshwork is treated with extensive laser burns. The development of cupping of the optic nerve in this animal model parallels, in many important respects, what is observed clinically in humans. The cupping of the optic nerve is reversible in the early stages, but once a certain degree of cupping and atrophy has occurred, it appears to be irreversible. As pointed out by Pederson and Gaasterland, these characteristics are similar to the cupping that is clinically observed in the glaucomas
Alvarado JA. Laser Photocoagulators for Glaucoma Research and Therapy. Arch Ophthalmol. 1984;102(11):1604–1605. doi:10.1001/archopht.1984.01040031294010
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