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Laser Treatment Improves Eyes With Retinal Venous Occlusion

Laser-induced chorioretinal venous anastomosis improves visual acuity significantly at 18 months

FRIDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) who have laser-induced chorioretinal venous anastomosis (L-CRA) may have greater improvement in visual acuity at 18-month follow-up than patients who receive usual care, according to a study in the May issue of Ophthalmology.

Ian L. McAllister, of the University of Western Australia in Perth, and colleagues randomized 113 patients with a non-ischemic CRVO and visual acuity of 20/50 or less to either L-CRA or usual care (control group). The two groups were evaluated using retinal photography, fluorescein angiography, examinations, and standard assessments of visual acuity by clinicians blinded to treatment.

In 18 months of follow-up, eyes in the L-CRA-treated group had an 8.3 letter mean improvement from baseline compared to controls (P = 0.03). Among treated eyes that developed a functional L-CRA, there was an 11.7 letter mean improvement from baseline compared to controls (P = 0.004). Overall, 9.6 percent of the treated eyes and 20.8 percent of the control eyes converted to ischemic CRVO (P = 0.33). Neovascularization occurred in 18.2 percent of the treated eyes. Vitrectomy surgery was required in 9.1 percent of treated eyes because of macular traction or vitreous hemorrhage.

"Chorioretinal venous anastomosis was created in 76.4 percent of eyes with non-ischemic CRVO in this study. Eyes that developed an anastomosis had a significant improvement (11.7 letters) in final visual acuity after 18 months, compared with eyes in the control group (P = 0.004). Complications were managed successfully with careful follow-up and early intervention," the authors write.

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