Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in developed countries due to macular edema and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). For both complications laser treatment may offer proven therapy: the Diabetic Retinopathy Study demonstrated that panretinal scatter photocoagulation reduces the risk of severe visual loss by >50% in eyes with high-risk characteristics. Panretinal scatter coagulation may also be beneficial in other PDR and severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) under certain conditions. For clinically significant macular edema the Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study could show that immediate focal laser photocoagulation reduces the risk of moderate visual loss by at least 50%. When and how to perform laser treatment is described in detail, offering a proven treatment for many problems associated with diabetic retinopathy based on a high evidence level.
Copyright (c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.