Laser coagulation of the retina carries risk of damaging the neuroretina because of variation of the beam power and of the local pigmentation of the retinal pigmented epithelium and the choroid. The degree of coagulation depends on the induced temperature rise and the exposure time. Laser retinotherapy with optoacoustic monitoring of the temperature provides reproducible ophthalmologically invisible (subthreshold) damage of the retina in a wide range of laser power, regardless of local changes of the tissue structure. Optoacoustic temperature measurements are based on the excitation of a pressure wave in the retinal tissue by repeated low-energy probe laser pulses. The amplitude of the pressure signal, which can be detected by means of an acoustic transducer incorporated in a laser contact lens, correlates with the temperature of the tissue. This paper discusses promising directions of the use in clinical practice of real-time optoacoustic temperature monitoring of the retina during laser therapy in various irradiation regimes.
© 2014 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article