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Clinical Sciences
March 2000

Diode Laser Ablation for Threshold Retinopathy of Prematurity: Short-term Structural Outcome

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Dr DeJonge) and Ophthalmology (Drs Ferrone and Trese), William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich. Dr Ferrone is now with Long Island Vitreo-Retinal Consultants, Great Neck, NY. The authors have no commercial or proprietary interest in the manufacture or distribution of diode laser equipment, nor did they have financial interest in reviewing or evaluating diode laser therapy for retinopathy of prematurity.

Arch Ophthalmol. 2000;118(3):365-367. doi:10.1001/archopht.118.3.365

Objective  To describe short-term structural outcomes and associated ocular complications in premature infants treated with diode laser ablation for retinopathy of prematurity.

Methods  The records of all infants who were diagnosed as having threshold retinopathy of prematurity and treated with diode laser therapy at our hospital from January 1, 1992, through December 31, 1996, were retrospectively reviewed. Sixty-four eyes reached threshold during this period. Three eyes received cryotherapy in addition to laser treatment and were excluded, leaving 61 eyes eligible for review.

Results  Of the 61 eyes with threshold disease treated exclusively with diode laser, 4 (7%) had zone I disease and 57 (93%) had zone II disease at the time of initial laser treatment. Three (5%) of the 61 eyes progressed to stage 4 disease (2 eyes, stage 4A; 1 eye, stage 4B). There were no cataracts or other ocular complications noted secondary to laser treatment based on short-term follow-up (mean follow-up, 120 days).

Conclusion  In this population of infants, diode laser ablation appears to be a safe and effective treatment for threshold retinopathy of prematurity.