Comparison of xenon arc and argon laser photocoagulation in the treatment of choroidal melanomas

Am J Ophthalmol. 1990 Jun 15;109(6):647-55. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)72432-8.


We analyzed the follow-up data in 38 consecutive patients with selected choroidal melanomas that were treated by photocoagulation between 1971 and 1980. Indications for treatment included photographic documentation of tumor growth or an unequivocally positive radioactive phosphorus uptake test, or both. Xenon arc photocoagulation was used in 22 patients (58%) and argon laser was used in 16 patients (42%). At the time of data analysis, the length of follow-up was at least 58 months in all patients. Although all treated tumors were initially eradicated according to ophthalmoscopic and fluorescein angiographic criteria, there was subsequent regrowth in three of the 22 patients (14%) treated with xenon photocoagulation and in ten of the 16 patients (64%) treated with argon laser. The recurrences were observed on an average of 71 months after completion of treatment in the xenon-treated group and on an average of 30 months in the argon-treated group. More treatment sessions were required in the argon laser group to achieve tumor control. Complications of vitreous hemorrhage, cystoid macular edema, and retinal detachment were greater in the xenon photocoagulation group.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Choroid Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Light Coagulation / adverse effects
  • Light Coagulation / methods*
  • Male
  • Melanoma / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery
  • Postoperative Care
  • Preoperative Care
  • Prognosis
  • Visual Acuity