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Proceedings Paper

Accidental human laser retinal injuries from military laser systems
Author(s): Bruce E. Stuck; Harry Zwick; Jerome W. Molchany; David J. Lund; Donald A. Gagliano
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Paper Abstract

The time course of the ophthalmoscopic and functional consequences of eight human laser accident cases from military laser systems is described. All patients reported subjective vision loss with ophthalmoscopic evidence of retinal alteration ranging from vitreous hemorrhage to retinal burn. Five of the cases involved single or multiple exposures to Q-switched neodymium radiation at close range whereas the other three incidents occur over large ranges. Most exposures were within 5 degrees of the foveola, yet none directly in the foveola. High contrast visual activity improved with time except in the cases with progressive retinal fibrosis between lesion sites or retinal hole formation encroaching the fovea. In one patient the visual acuity recovered from 20/60 at one week to 20/25 in four months with minimal central visual field loss. Most cases showed suppression of high and low spatial frequency contrast sensitivity. Visual field measurements were enlarged relative to ophthalmoscopic lesion size observations. Deep retinal scar formation and retinal traction were evident in two of the three cases with vitreous hemorrhage. In one patient, nerve fiber layer damage to the papillo-macular bundle was clearly evident. Visual performance measured with a pursuit tracking task revealed significant performance loss relative to normal tracking observers even in cases where acuity returned to near normal levels. These functional and performance deficits may reflect secondary effects of parafoveal laser injury.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 1996
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 2674, Laser-Inflicted Eye Injuries: Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment, (1 April 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.237505
Show Author Affiliations
Bruce E. Stuck, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (United States)
Harry Zwick, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (United States)
Jerome W. Molchany, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (United States)
David J. Lund, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (United States)
Donald A. Gagliano, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and 5th M.A.S.H./Fort Bragg (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2674:
Laser-Inflicted Eye Injuries: Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment
Bruce E. Stuck; Michael Belkin M.D., Editor(s)

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