Visual fields and electroretinography following extensive photocoagulation

Arch Ophthalmol. 1975 Aug;93(8):591-8. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1975.01010020575004.


Twenty-four patients with proliferative or preproliferative diabetic retinopathy underwent extensive argon laser photocoagulation in one eye. Detailed central and peripheral visual-field examinations and electroretinography were performed before treatment, and at intervals after treatment. Visual field changes were as follows: (1) eight patients had only mild to moderate constriction of all isopters, (2) 11 had discrete scotomata in addition, (3) two had prominent nerve-fiber-bundle defects, (4) three had severe constriction of all isopters, save (in two) that to the largest peripheral test object. Electroretinographic b-wave amplitudes were reduced an average of 40% to white test flashes. Blue test flashes showed an even larger reduction of the rod response. This suggests the receptors in approximately 40% of the retinal area are destroyed by such extensive photocoagulation, covering predominantly that part of the retina that has the highest concentration of rods.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Argon
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / surgery*
  • Electroretinography
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Lasers* / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photoreceptor Cells / physiopathology
  • Retinal Diseases / etiology*
  • Retinal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Scotoma / etiology*
  • Vision Disorders / etiology*
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Fields*


  • Argon