Purpose: To report the visual outcome of multiple laser treatments for macular edema attributable to branch retinal vein occlusions (BRVO) and to determine if any prognostic factors exist for improvement.
Design: Retrospective chart review.
Methods: A private practice with four vitreoretinal surgeons performed laser treatments on 88 eyes of 88 patients with macular edema secondary to BRVO from 1984 to 2003. Mean preoperative and postoperative visual acuities were collected after each laser treatment. Final visual acuities were also documented.
Results: All 88 patients received at least one laser treatment, and 46 patients of the initial 88 underwent multiple treatments. Overall, forty-one (46.6%) of the total 88 patients improved by 2 or more lines, whereas 33 patients (37.5%) were within 1 line of the preoperative vision, and 14 patients (15.9%) worsened by 2 or more lines. The mean final visual improvement was 0.92 lines for all 88 patients. The group of patients that responded favorably to the first laser treatment (n = 37) showed an overall improvement of 3.5 lines. However, patients who responded poorly to the first laser treatment resulted in an overall worsening of vision by 0.96 lines.
Conclusions: Our study found that multiple laser treatments can improve visual acuity and resolve macular edema and that each additional laser treatment gives a patient a modest chance of visual improvement. A positive or stable visual response to first laser treatment portends a favorable prognosis with subsequent laser treatments.