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August 1987

Neodymium-YAG Laser Vitreolysis in Sickle Cell Retinopathy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University (Drs Hrisomalos and Jampol), the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Illinois (Drs Jampol and Goldberg), Chicago; and the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica (Drs Moriarty, Serjeant, and Acheson).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1987;105(8):1087-1091. doi:10.1001/archopht.1987.01060080089034

• Six patients with proliferative sickle cell retinopathy and vitreous bands were treated with the neodymium-YAG (Nd-YAG) laser to accomplish lysis of avascular traction bands or to clear the media in front of the macula. Transection of bands was possible in five of the six cases but in two of these the effect was only partial. Three cases were satisfactorily treated with the Nd-YAG laser application alone, two eventually required conventional vitreoretinal surgery, and one patient's condition stabilized despite failure of the treatment. Complications from the treatment occurred in three cases and included subretinal (choroidal) hemorrhage, preretinal hemorrhage, microperforation of a retinal vein, and focal areas of damage to the retinal pigment epithelium. Neodymium-YAG vitreolysis may be a useful modality in carefully selected patients with proliferative sickle cell retinopathy, but potentially sight-threatening complications may occur.

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