The course of proliferative diabetic retinopathy involving the optic disc was followed, and the response to peripheral retinal photocoagulation monitored by argon laser in 11 patients during and after 13 pregnancies. Traditional obstetric practice assumes that pregnancy is a stimulus to irreversible progression of proliferative diabetic retinopathy, and that timely abortion and sterilisation are essential in order to achieve control of the neovascular process. Extensive photocoagulation will cause significant regression of neovascular complexes in 63% of cases, and it confers sufficient benefits to make ophthalmic indications for therapeutic abortion and sterilisation no longer tenable.
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