Purpose: To evaluate primary laser photocoagulation of "small" posterior choroidal melanomas in eyes with good vision.
Method: This study includes a case series comprising six patients treated with standard laser techniques for melanoma, which had a mean thickness of 3.1 mm (range 2.9-3.9 mm), largest basal diameter of 8.6 mm (mean, range 7.0-10.0 mm), and located 0.5-2 disk diameters from the fovea or 0.3-3 disk diameters from the optic nerve head.
Results: No metastatic death was observed in the follow-up period (range 3 1/2-7 1/2 years). Two local recurrences appeared, both were treated with plaques, one eye was later enucleated. Two additional cases were also treated with plaques. Only two of the irradiated eyes retained reading vision.
Conclusion: Primary photocoagulation of "small" posterior choroidal melanomas with argon laser is not recommended.