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Am J Ophthalmol. 2013 May;155(5):905-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2012.12.005. Epub 2013 Feb 6.

Characterization of microaneurysm closure after focal laser photocoagulation in diabetic macular edema.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Jacobs Retina Center at Shiley Eye Center, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.



To characterize microaneurysm closure following focal laser photocoagulation in diabetic macular edema (DME) using simultaneous fluorescein angiography (FA) and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).


Retrospective observational case series.


Leaking microaneurysms (n = 123) were analyzed in eyes (n = 29) with nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) that underwent navigated focal laser photocoagulation in DME and were followed at 3, 6, and 12 months. Closure of diabetic microaneurysms was characterized in detail following focal laser using SD-OCT.


Closure rate of microaneurysms by both FA and SD-OCT was 69.9% (84/123), 79.7% (98/123), and 82.9% (102/123) at 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively. Microaneurysm closure rate increased at 6 and 12 months compared to 3 months (P < .003, P < .001). Over half of closed microaneurysms (45/86, 52.3%) left hyperreflective spots while the remaining half (41/86, 47.7%) disappeared without any hyperreflectivity by SD-OCT at 3 months. Hyperreflective spots decreased at 6 (36/99, 36.4%) and 12 months (17/102, 16.7%) with a concomitant increase in complete loss of reflectivity at 6 (63/99, 63.6%) and 12 months (85/102, 83.3%). Smaller outer and inner diameters and heterogeneous lumen reflectivity were positively associated with microaneurysm closure at 12 months (P < .0001, P < .001, P < .03).


Characterization of microaneurysms following focal laser photocoagulation resulted in hyperreflective spots and complete resolution of all reflectivity using SD-OCT. Smaller microaneurysms and those with heterogeneous lumen were positively associated with microaneurysm closure. These findings provide greater understanding of localized retinal changes following focal laser photocoagulation in DME treatment.

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