Aim: To report the evolution of pattern scanning laser (Pascal) photocoagulation burns in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, using Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT) and fundus autofluorescence (AF), and to evaluate these characteristics with clinically visible alterations in outer retina (OR) and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).
Methods: Standard red-free and colour fundus photography (FP), FD-OCT, and fundus camera-based AF were performed in 17 eyes of 11 patients following macular and panretinal photocoagulation (PRP).
Results: One hour following Pascal application, visibility of threshold burns on FP was incomplete. AF enabled visualisation of complete treatment arrays at 1 h, with hypoautofluorescence at sites of each laser burn. AF signals accurately correlated with localised increased optical reflectivity within the outer retina on FD-OCT. AF signals became hyperautofluorescent at 1 week, and corresponded on FD-OCT to defects at the junction of the inner and outer segments of the photoreceptors (JI/OSP) and upper surface of RPE. A 10 ms macular laser pulse produced a localised defect at the level of JI/OSP and RPE. Macular and 20 ms PRP burns did not enlarge at 1 year’s and 18 months’ follow-up respectively.
Conclusions: We report the in vivo spatial localisation and clinical correlation of medium-pulse Pascal photocoagulation burns within outer retina and RPE, using high-resolution FD-OCT and AF. Ophthalmoscopically invisible and threshold Pascal burns may be accurately localised and mapped by AF and FD-OCT, with monitoring over time.
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