Purpose: To compare the pain responses of patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) undergoing panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) using either pattern scan laser (PASCAL) or navigated laser photocoagulation (NAVILAS).
Methods: Patients diagnosed with PDR were randomly assigned to undergo either PASCAL or NAVILAS photocoagulation treatment. PRP was performed using the multi-shot mode with a spot size of 200-400 µm and a pulse duration of 30 ms to obtain a white-grayish spot on the retina. Parameters were identical in both procedures. After 30 min of PRP application, patients were asked to verbally describe their pain perception as either "none," "mild," "moderate," "severe," or "very severe" using a verbal rating scale (VRS) and visual analog scale (VAS) by indicating a score from "0" to "10," representing the severity of pain from "no pain" to "severe pain."
Results: A total of 60 eyes of 60 patients (20 females and 40 males) diagnosed with PDR were treated. The mean age of patients was 62.22 ± 9.19 years, and the mean diabetes duration was 195.47 ± 94.54 months. The mean number of laser spots delivered during PRP was 389.47 ± 71.52 in the NAVILAS group and 392.70 ± 54.33 in the PASCAL group (p=0.57). The difference in pain responses between patients in the NAVILAS and PASCAL groups was significant with regard to the mean VRS (1.10 ± 0.67 and 1.47 ± 0.69, respectively; p=0.042) and mean VAS (2.13 ± 1.17 and 2.97 ± 1.35, respectively; p=0.034) scores.
Conclusions: Pain responses in patients undergoing PRP with a 30-ms pulse duration were significantly milder in the NAVILAS group than in the PASCAL group.