The argon laser for diabetic retinopathy therapy was originally selected for photocoagulation by matching peak emission to hemoglobin absorption to maximize obliteration of retinal blood vessels. Present clinical experience in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy does not show any marked advantage of argon lasers over ruby and xenon photocoagulators not matched to hemoglobin absorption. The efficacy of photocoagulation is shown to depend upon the interaction between choroidal and retinal blood supplies in tissue oxygenation and depends upon pigment epithelium absorption to destroy rods and cones. Design specifications for new laser photocoagulators and alternative (supplemental) therapy for diabetic retinopathy are given.
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