Purpose: When using a serial laser system for selective impact on the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), there is a challenge to determine the optimal range of micropulse parameters which result in targeted damage to the RPE. This study proposes a computer model that has identified the optimal parameters to be applied.
Methods: This study was conducted on 18 patients who were diagnosed with acute central serous chorioretinopathy and transparent optical media, aged 35 to 46 years old, and type 2 and 3 on the Fitzpatrick scale. Testing of the micropulse mode was performed on the Navilas 577s laser system; 864 spots were analyzed in total. Considering the probability of damage visualization at different laser power, the computer simulation of tissue heating and protein denaturation was performed to determine the micropulse modes which resulted in selective damage to the RPE.
Results: The computer model parameter ΔE = 3.34 × 105 J/mol was determined from fitting the model predictions to the autofluorescence test results. The micropulse modes with a micropulse duration of 50-100 µs, duty cycle 2.4-4.8%, 10 ms-pulse envelope (5 micropulses), and spot diameter of 100 µm have efficiency and selectivity above 67% and correspond to the optimal therapeutic window for targeted RPE damage at a certain power. Increasing the micropulse duration, number of micropulses, and duty cycle leads to a decrease in the selective effect on the RPE and higher damage to adjacent tissues.
Conclusion: The concepts of efficiency and selectivity have been introduced to quantify the amount of damage caused. The optimal range of micropulse parameters which result in effective and selective damage on the RPE has been determined for the Navilas 577s laser system. The proposed method can be used for any other serial laser system. A comparison of the different micropulse modes, as well as the CW modes, has been performed.
Keywords: Arrhenius equation; Micropulse; Navilas; RPE; autofluorescence; efficiency; selection of parameters; selectivity.