A randomised controlled trial is reported of 94 patients with a symmetrical proliferative diabetic retinopathy involving the optic disc, who were treated by a peripheral retinal ablation technique using the argon laser. A highly significant difference in mean cumulative deterioration of visual acuity and blindness was shown in all but the late stages of the disease process between treated and untreated eyes. The untreated eyes exhibited far worse results. The earlier photocoagulation is initiated in the course of the proliferative process in this disease to control or preferably eliminate optic disc neovascularisation, the better the visual prognosis.
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