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August 1986

Photocoagulation for Diabetic Macular Edema

Arch Ophthalmol. 1986;104(8):1115-1116. doi:10.1001/archopht.1986.01050200021013

To the Editor.  —The Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study Research Group (ETDRS) should be complimented for their efforts in carrying out the randomized clinical trial designed to evaluate photocoagulation and aspirin treatment in the management of patients with nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. However, readers should be cautioned to critically analyze the conclusions reached and published in "Study Report 1," before extrapolating these data to the individual patient they may be seeing, and prior to implementing treatment.1The study evaluates patients who have diabetic retinopathy with "clinically significant diabetic macular edema," and compares those patients who are treated immediately with patients undergoing "deferred" photocoagulation. It is terribly important to recognize that the authors have been very specific in their terminology of "clinically significant" macular edema. One of the characteristics of "clinically significant" macular edema is thickening of the retina at or within 500 μm of the center of the macula.

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