Clinical evaluation and treatment accuracy in diabetic macular edema using navigated laser photocoagulator NAVILAS

Ophthalmology. 2011 Jun;118(6):1119-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2010.10.007. Epub 2011 Jan 26.


Purpose: To evaluate the clinical use and accuracy of a new retinal navigating laser technology that integrates a scanning slit fundus camera system with fluorescein angiography (FA), color, red-free, and infrared imaging capabilities with a computer steerable therapeutic 532-nm laser.

Design: Interventional case series.

Participants: Eighty-six eyes of 61 patients with diabetic retinopathy and macular edema treated by NAVILAS.

Methods: The imaging included digital color fundus photographs and FA. The planning included graphically marking future treatment sites (microaneurysms for single-spot focal treatment and areas of diffuse leakage for grid pattern photocoagulation) on the acquired images. The preplanned treatment was visible and overlaid on the live fundus image during the actual photocoagulation. The NAVILAS automatically advances the aiming beam location from one planned treatment site to the next after each photocoagulation spot until all sites are treated. Aiming beam stabilization compensated for patient's eye movements. The pretreatment FA with the treatment plan was overlaid on top of the posttreatment color fundus images with the actual laser burns. This allowed treatment accuracy to be calculated. Independent observers evaluated the images to determine if the retinal opacification after treatment overlapped the targeted microaneurysm.

Main outcome measures: Safety and accuracy of laser photocoagulation.

Results: The images were of very good quality compared with standard fundus cameras, allowing careful delineation of target areas on FA. Toggling from infrared, to monochromatic, to color view allowed evaluation and adjustment of burn intensity during treatment. There were no complications during or after photocoagulation treatment. An analysis of accuracy of 400 random focal targeted spots found that the NAVILAS achieved a microaneurysm hit rate of 92% when the placement of the treatment circle was centered by the operating surgeon on the microaneurysm. The accuracy for the control group analyzing 100 focal spots was significantly lower at 72% (P<0.01).

Conclusions: Laser photocoagulation using the NAVILAS system is safe and achieves a higher rate of accuracy in photocoagulation treatments of diabetic retinopathy lesions than standard manual-technique laser treatment. Precise manual preplanning and positioning of the treatment sites by the surgeon is possible, allowing accurate and predictable photocoagulation of these lesions.

Financial disclosure(s): Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diabetic Retinopathy / complications
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / surgery*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Laser Coagulation / instrumentation*
  • Macula Lutea / drug effects
  • Macula Lutea / pathology*
  • Macular Edema / diagnosis
  • Macular Edema / etiology
  • Macular Edema / surgery*
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Treatment Outcome