Because of complications and side effects, conventional laser therapy has taken a back seat to drugs in the treatment of macular diseases. Despite this, research on new laser modalities remains active. In particular, various approaches are being pursued to preserve and improve retinal structure and function. These include micropulsing, various exposure titration algorithms, and real-time temperature feedback control of short-pulse continuous wave lasers, and ultra-short-pulse nanosecond lasers. Some of these approaches are at the preclinical stage of development, whereas others are available for clinical use. Cell biology is providing important insights into the mechanisms of action of retinal laser treatment. We outline the technological bases of current laser platforms, their basic science, therapeutic concepts, clinical experience, and future directions for retinal laser treatment.
Keywords: 2RT; NAVILAS; PASCAL; endpoint management; laser photocoagulation; micropulse laser; microsecond laser; nanosecond laser; panretinal photocoagulation; pattern scanning lasers; retinal laser; selective retina therapy; subthreshold laser.
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