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R Brancato, R Pratesi, G Leoni, G Trabucchi, U Vanni; Histopathology of diode and argon laser lesions in rabbit retina. A comparative study.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1989;30(7):1504-1510.
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Argon lasers are the most frequently used laser source for retinal photocoagulation. These are expensive, bulky and low-efficiency devices. In contrast, diode semiconductor lasers have a number of characteristics that make them attractive for medical application: compact size, high electrical-to-optical efficiency, and long operating lifetime. Comparable irradiance lesions (about 120 Wcm2), ophthalmoscopically similar to those obtained therapeutically in humans, were obtained by a diode and an argon laser. Twenty-four hours after the treatment, a study of these lesions was made by light and electron microscopy. Argon irradiations resulted in damage to both the inner and the outer retinal layers, while the diode laser radiation produced damage to the outer retina and choroid. A sufficient diode laser light passed into the choroid to induce small vessel occlusions and/or edema. The histological characteristics of the lesions produced by the two lasers suggest the use of the diode lasers, as well as argon lasers, in the treatment of retinal and subretinal pathologies.
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