2022 - 6 Issue

Original article

Laser Vitreolysis in Patients with Symptomatic Vitreous Floaters

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Aims: To examine the effectiveness and safety of Nd:YAG laser vitreolysis in patients with symptomatic vitreous floaters.

Material and Methods: This was a single-centre study of adult patients with symptomatic vitreous floaters who underwent laser vitreolysis. Patients treated between 1/2020 and 10/2021 were included. Intraocular pressure was measured by non-contact tonometry before and one month after treatment. Colour fundus photography, slit lamp examination in mydriasis, best corrected visual acuity, optical coherence tomography, and ultrasound examinations were performed before treatment. The patients completed a questionnaire to subjectively rank the degree of impairment associated with the floaters before and between 1 and 2 months after treatment.

Results: 89 eyes from 84 patients were included in the study, with a slight predominance of women (53%). A Weiss ring was present in 46%, and other types of vitreous opacity were found in 54%. Before treatment, 69% evaluated floaters as very troublesome (i.e., a value of 4 or 5 on a 1–5 scale). After treatment, 42% indicated subjective improvement (9% viewed the treatment as a complete success and 33% as a significant success). In 33% of eyes there was a partial improvement, i.e., some floaters could still be seen, and in 17% there was no improvement; 8% of patients were dissatisfied with the treatment results. There was no statistically significant difference in improvement between the group with Weiss rings and the group with other types of floaters. The procedure itself and the subsequent observation period were without complications, i.e., no cases of intraocular pressure elevation, cataract formation or retinal complications. Intraocular pressure did not significantly change from the pre-procedure value (p = 0.29). Average best corrected visual acuity after treatment was 0.97, thus it did not differ significantly from the pre-treatment values (p = 0.82).

Conclusion: Nd:YAG laser vitreolysis subjectively improved floater-related symptoms in treated eyes. The lack of an objective measurement of treatment success is a limiting factor. Laser vitreolysis is more suitable for solitary than diffuse vitreous opacities.