Neodymium:YLF picosecond laser segmentation for retinal traction associated with proliferative diabetic retinopathy

B. Z. Cohen, K. J. Wald, K. Toyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To determine the applicability of laser segmentation for severing fibrovascular tissue and hyaloid interfaces in the treatment of tractional complications of proliferative diabetic retinopathy. METHODS: A prototype neodymium:yttrium-lithium-fluoride (Nd:YLF) picosecond pulse photodisruptive laser was used in eight eyes (seven patients) with proliferative diabetic retinopathy as part of a Food and Drug Administration- approved phase 1 protocol. There were three indications for treatment: type I: distortion and shallow elevation of the macular caused by taut, adherent, posterior hyaloid interface (two eyes); type II: traction retinal detachment involving the fovea (two eyes); and type III: fovea-threatened, traction retinal detachment (four eyes). Traction release was accomplished by laser segmentation of the detached hyaloid interfaces and fibrotic, contracted proliferative tissue. The Nd:YLF uses low pulse energy (0.10 mJ, 1,000 pulses per second for 10 consecutive seconds) that allows tissue cutting near the retinal surface.RESULTS: Both type I eyes had relief of traction forces; visual acuity improved from 20/400 to 20/50 in one eye; the other remained stable. Of the two type II eyes, one had anatomic reattachment of the fovea with improvement in visual acuity (hand movements to 20/50); the second required vitrectomy. Of the four type III eyes, all had anatomic improvement; three maintained pretreatment acuity; the fourth eye developed vitreous hemorrhage at 6 months and underwent vitrectomy. Three treatments (two eyes) caused vitreous hemorrhage that resulted in a transient drop in acuity (1 to 2 lines). No patient developed a retinal break or choroidal hemorrhage.CONCLUSION: In a small pilot study, the Nd:YLF laser segmented proliferative tissue near the retinal surface and elevated hyaloid interfaces. In selected cases, this may enable flattening of traction retinal detachment or release of retinal distortion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-523
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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