Purpose: To report various types of maculopathy caused by momentary exposure to a high-power handheld blue laser.
Design: Consecutive case series.
Participants: Fourteen eyes of 14 patients.
Methods: Patients with a history of eye exposure to a blue laser device (450 nm and a power range of 150-1200 mW) to a single institution were included. Evaluation included a full ophthalmic examination, fundus photography, macular spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, and fundus fluorescein angiography.
Main outcome measures: Analysis of the types of maculopathy and vitreoretinal pathologic features.
Results: All patients were young males. The most common setting for injury was accidental at play. The types of maculopathies encountered were: a full-thickness macular hole (FTMH) in 4 eyes, a premacular subhyaloid hemorrhage in 5 eyes, premacular sub-internal limiting membrane hemorrhage in 2 eyes, an outer retinal disruption at the fovea in 1 eye, an epimacular membrane in 1 eye, and a schisis-like cavity in 1 eye. Best-corrected Snellen visual acuity at presentation ranged from 20/40 to 4/200 (mean, 20/290). Only 4 eyes (29%) improved spontaneously with increase in vision, whereas 10 eyes (71%) required intervention. The latter consisted of neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet hyaloidotomy in the 5 eyes with subhyaloid hemorrhage and pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) for the eyes with FTMH and epimacular membrane. All 4 FTMH were closed successfully after PPV. Final mean best-corrected visual acuity in all cases was 20/35 (range, 20/15-20/300).
Conclusions: Exposure to high-power handheld laser devices can cause a variety of maculopathies that can reduce central vision permanently. Although vision may improve spontaneously, most cases require intervention. Unrestricted access to commercially available high-power handheld laser devices is dangerous and public awareness should be encouraged.
Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.