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Low-Level Laser Therapy Improves Vision in a Patient with Retinitis Pigmentosa

Ivandic BT, Ivandic T.

University of Heidelberg , Otto Meyerhof Centre, Heidelberg, Germany

OBJECTIVE: This case report describes the effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in a single patient with retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Background data: RP is a heritable disorder of the retina, which eventually leads to blindness. No therapy is currently available.

METHODS: LLLT was applied using a continuous wave laser diode (780uc0u8201 nm, 10u8201 mW average output at 292u8201 Hz, 50% pulse modulation). The complete retina of eyes was irradiated through the conjunctiva for 40u8201 sec (0.4u8201 J, 0.333u8201 W/cm2) two times per week for 2 weeks (1.6u8201 J). A 55-year-old male patient with advanced RP was treated and followed for 7 years.

RESULTS: The patient had complained of nyctalopia and decreasing vision. At first presentation, best visual acuity was 20/50 in each eye. Visual fields were reduced to a central residual of 5 degrees. Tritan-dyschromatopsy was found. Retinal potential was absent in electroretinography. Biomicroscopy showed optic nerve atrophy, and narrow retinal vessels with a typical pattern of retinal pigmentation. After four initial treatments of LLLT, visual acuity increased to 20/20 in each eye. Visual fields normalized except for a mid-peripheral absolute concentric scotoma. Five years after discontinuation of LLLT, a relapse was observed. LLLT was repeated (another four treatments) and restored the initial success. During the next 2 years, 17 additional treatments were performed on an “as needed” basis, to maintain the result.

CONCLUSIONS: LLLT was shown to improve and maintain vision in a patient with RP, and may thereby have contributed to slowing down blindness

Photomed Laser Surg. 2014 Mar;32(3):181-4

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