Randomized clinical trial of cryotherapy versus laser photocoagulation for retinopexy in conventional retinal detachment surgery

Am J Ophthalmol. 2001 Sep;132(3):343-7. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(01)01026-1.


Purpose: To investigate whether the method of retinopexy influences the visual recovery rate and the breakdown of the blood-ocular barrier after conventional retinal detachment surgery.

Methods: Forty-eight patients (48 eyes) with primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachment entered into the study. All eyes were phakic, had an attached macula, and were scheduled for conventional scleral buckling surgery. Patients were randomly assigned to have either laser or cryotherapy for retinopexy. All visual acuity and flare measurements were performed by a masked observer. The interventional procedure was cryopexy at the time of scleral buckling surgery or postoperative (4 weeks) laser photocoagulation. Visual acuity testing with ETDRS chart and aqueous flare measurement with laser flare photometry were performed by a masked observer at standard intervals: preoperatively and 1 day, 7 days, 4 weeks, and 10 weeks postoperatively. Analysis of covariance by multiple linear regression was used for statistical evaluation.

Results: Postoperative flare values from patients receiving cryotherapy were significantly higher at each measurement point in time (P < or =.001). The visual recovery was slower in the patients receiving cryotherapy (1 week, P =.003; 4 weeks, P =.03; 10 weeks, P =.081).

Conclusion: Laser flare photometry proved sufficiently sensitive to quantify an increase in aqueous flare after limited external retinal cryotherapy. Postoperative flare, as a measure of blood-ocular barrier breakdown, was significantly higher and visual recovery slower in the cryotherapy group. Visual acuity after 10 weeks was not significantly different between both groups.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Blood-Retinal Barrier / physiology
  • Cryotherapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Coagulation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinal Detachment / physiopathology
  • Retinal Detachment / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uveitis, Anterior / etiology
  • Uveitis, Anterior / physiopathology
  • Visual Acuity