A prospective randomised trial of argon laser photocoagulation of retinal pigment epithelial detachments in the elderly is presented. The results based on 18 months' follow-up show that, in terms of visual acuity, photocoagulation is not beneficial as carried out in this study. The morphological outcome of the treated and untreated eyes is discussed. Stricter entry criteria would not have affected the conclusions. Tearing of the pigment epithelium occurred earlier in the treated than in the untreated eyes.
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