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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 106  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 78-84

Does demarcation laser photocoagulation really barricade macula-sparing symptomatic and asymptomatic clinical rhegmatogenous retinal detachment?

Department of Ophthalmology, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Abeer Khattab
MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Mansoura University, Mansoura
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.7123/01.JEO.0000431543.04926.a6

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of demarcation laser photocoagulation in containing macula-sparing symptomatic or asymptomatic clinical retinal detachments.


This was a prospective interventional case series.

Patients and methods

Sixteen eyes of 14 consecutive patients presenting with symptomatic (14 eyes) and asymptomatic (two fellow eyes) clinical macula-sparing rhegmatogenous retinal detachments (MSRRDs) were prospectively treated with barrage photocoagulation in three to five confluent rows using argon laser photocoagulation with a slit lamp delivery system for 15 eyes and the indirect ophthalmoscopic delivery system in one eye. The patients were reviewed at 1, 7, and 15 days, 1, 3, and 6 months, and yearly thereafter. Stability/progression of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment beyond the barrage and the best corrected visual acuity were recorded at each visit.


Sixteen eyes of 14 patients (nine male) with a mean±standard age of 42.93±16.65 years (range 12–62 years) underwent barrage laser treatment. Two men had bilateral retinal detachment. Most detachments were caused by horseshoe breaks (12 eyes) (75%). Eight (50%) extended superiorly with breaks above the horizontal raphe. Twelve eyes (75%) had posterior vitreous detachment at presentation. The patients are still under regular yearly follow-up. The pretreatment anatomical and functional status was maintained in all eyes until the final visit.


Demarcation laser photocoagulation is a low-morbidity procedure that can efficiently stabilize selected clinical MSRRDs by producing a barrier to prevent extension of the subretinal fluid. This procedure may be an alternative to other surgical approaches in patients with symptomatic or asymptomatic MSRRDs.

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