Many clinical trials have demonstrated the clinical efficacy of laser photocoagulation in the treatment of retinal vascular diseases, including diabetic retinopathy. There is, however, collateral iatrogenic retinal damage and functional loss after conventional laser treatment. Such side effects may occur even when the treatment is appropriately performed because of morphological damage caused by the visible endpoint, typically a whitening burn. The development of the diode laser with micropulsed emission has allowed subthreshold therapy without a visible burn endpoint. This greatly reduces the risk of structural and functional retinal damage, while retaining the therapeutic efficacy of conventional laser treatment. Studies using subthreshold micropulse laser protocols have reported successful outcomes for diabetic macular edema, central serous chorioretinopathy, macular edema secondary to retinal vein occlusion, and primary open angle glaucoma. The report includes the rationale and basic principles underlying micropulse diode laser therapy, together with a review of its current clinical applications.
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