Comparison of diode and argon laser trabeculoplasty in cadaver eyes

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1994 Feb;35(2):706-10.


Purpose: To evaluate differences in the effects of diode and argon trabeculoplasty on cadaver eye trabecular meshwork.

Methods: The argon laser was used at a 50 mu spot size, 500 to 100 mW of power, and a 0.1 second time interval, and the diode laser was used at a 0.1 to 0.2 second time interval, 100 mu spot size, and 400 to 1200 mW of power. Analysis was performed using videography, microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy.

Results: This study found grossly that burns with the argon laser caused tissue blanching and pigment dispersion, whereas no reaction was observed with the diode laser. The diode laser made no observable histologic alterations, but the argon caused fragmentation and coagulation of trabecular beams. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the diode laser caused an area of trabecular beam coalescence measuring 50 to 100 mu in diameter with energies > or = 0.12 J. A surrounding zone of more superficial trabecular beam fragmentation measuring 200 to 400 mu in diameter also was observed. Similar energy levels from the argon laser caused hole formation 200 to 400 mu in diameter. Lower argon energy levels (0.05 J) caused inconsistent coalescence 50 to 100 mu in diameter similar to the diode laser.

Conclusions: This study suggests that in the trabecular meshwork the diode laser causes a reaction at, but not at less than, energy levels shown previously to produce a clinical ocular hypotensive effect. Also, at similar energy per area, the tissue effects of the diode and argon laser are comparable.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Argon
  • Eye Burns / pathology*
  • Glaucoma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / adverse effects
  • Laser Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / surgery
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / ultrastructure
  • Trabecular Meshwork / surgery*
  • Trabecular Meshwork / ultrastructure
  • Trabeculectomy* / methods
  • Video Recording


  • Argon