A group of 20 patients (28 eyes) with proliferative retinopathy who required extensive argon laser photocoagulation to induce regression of new vessels is presented. The mean number of burns applied to each eye was 7225, with a maximum of 11,513. These were delivered in a mean of nine sessions over a mean period of 22.9 months. Twenty-five eyes (89%) had a final visual acuity of 6/18 or better. The remaining three eyes (11%) had severely reduced vision attributable to complications of proliferative diabetic retinopathy (traction retinal detachment involving the macula in two eyes and ischaemic maculopathy and a persistent vitreous haemorrhage in the third). Large amounts of confluent argon laser photocoagulation may be necessary for the elimination of new vessels in some patients, and it is our view that laser photocoagulation should be continued until regression of new vessels occurs. This is compatible with the retention of functional vision and good visual acuity.
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