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Eur J Ophthalmol. 2002 Nov-Dec;12(6):501-5.

Selective photocoagulation in Coats' disease: ten-year follow-up.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Milano, San Paolo Hospital, Milano Italy.



The diagnostic hallmark of Coats' disease is development of "light bulb" telangiectasis in the retinal periphery, leading to posterior pole intraretinal and subretinal exudation. Even after complete obliteration of all abnormal vessels and resorption of all exudates, follow-up examinations are mandatory for several years.


We retrospectively analyzed the charts, pictures and/or fluorescein angiographies of a series of 32 consecutive patients, in which the diagnosis of Coats' disease was made. All patients underwent selective photocoagulation of the telangiectasis using a yellow-dye laser. Efficacy of treatment was monitored with drawings and/or fluorescein angiographies.


All our patients had unilateral disease, with macular involvement and exudative retinal detachment. Visual acuity improved in one patient, decreased from light perception to blindness in another, and was unchanged in the remainder.


This is the first report of anatomical benefits from treatment with a yellow-dye laser (i.e., selective photocoagulation without cryotherapy or drainage) despite the presence of a severe form of Coats' disease. Our young Coats' patients responded quickly to treatment. With successful obliteration of the abnormal vasculature, exudates began to absorb in about 4 to 8 weeks although, in some cases, 10 to 12 months were needed to obtain resolution of the exudative detachment. Poor visual outcome of 20/100 or worse was common. In Coats' patients, the key issue is continuous control and long-term follow-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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