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January 1989

Photoablation of Ocular Melanoma With a High-Powered Argon Endolaser

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Ophthalmology (Drs Jaffe, Mieler, Burke, and Williams) and Anatomy and Cellular Biology (Dr Burke), Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1989;107(1):113-118. doi:10.1001/archopht.1989.01070010115038

• We studied the use of a 15-W argon blue-green laser in the treatment of choroidal melanoma in a rabbit model. Greene melanoma cells were used to produce 2- to 4-mm thick tumors posteriorly in the suprachoroidal space in pigmented rabbits. Endophotocoagulation delivered through a 600-μm fiberoptic probe was performed to ablate the tumor tissue and a surrounding margin of normal tissue. A vitreous cutter was used simultaneously to remove liberated necrotic debris. The effect of the laser on tumor and normal ocular tissue was evaluated by light microscopy and the extent of the proliferative response by tritiated thymidine radioautography. Application of 100 to 400 pulses of laser energy using treatment parameters of 12 to 14 W of power and 0.1-s pulses resulted in complete ablation of melanoma tissue, overlying retina, and choroid. There was no substantial intraoperative or postoperative hemorrhage. Material liberated during the laser treatment was found to be nonviable. The effect of the laser on tissue appeared localized to within approximately 1.25 mm of the margin of the central lesion. The high-energy argon laser seems to offer a means of effectively ablating melanoma tissue via an internal resection approach.

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