Long-term Visual and Refractive Outcomes of Argon Laser-treated Retinopathy of Prematurity


Purpose: In this case–control study, we measured visual acuity, objective refraction, ocular biometric parameters, and strabismus in premature cases classified according to the following categories: argon laser-treated retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), untreated spontaneously regressed ROP, no ROP, and full term controls.

Methods: Cases with a history of prematurity at six years of age were categorized into the following groups: patients with a history of treated type 1 ROP using argon laser (group I), untreated spontaneously regressed ROP (group II), and no history of ROP (group III). Group IV included age-matched healthy full-term controls. Funduscopy was performed for all the cases and the control group.

Results: In total, 24 eyes of 12 laser-treated ROP cases, 186 eyes of 93 spontaneously regressed ROP patients, 74 eyes of 37 premature cases with no history of ROP, and 286 eyes of 143 controls were included in the study. The mean spherical equivalent in the treated cases was not significantly different from that in the untreated cases and patients in group III. However, the average cylindrical power was significantly different among the groups (P < 0.004). Furthermore, anisometropia (≥1.5 diopter) was diagnosed with a higher rate in the treated cases (P = 0.03). The corneal curvature of the laser-treated eyes was significantly steeper and the axial length was significantly shorter than those in the other groups (P < 0.002 and P < 0.001, respectively, for multivariate analysis). Strabismus was found in three treated patients (25%). Additionally, there were three treated eyes (12.5%) diagnosed with macular dragging.

Conclusion: Premature cases including those who had a history of argon laser-treated ROP and those with untreated spontaneously regressed ROP showed acceptable long-term visual and refractive outcomes along with a fairly low rate of ocular disorders.


Argon Laser, Ocular Biometric Parameters, Refraction, Retinopathy of Prematurity

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