The Evolution of Laser Therapy in Ophthalmology: A Perspective on the Interactions Between Photons, Patients, Physicians, and Physicists: The LXX Edward Jackson Memorial Lecture AMERICAN JOURNAL OF OPHTHALMOLOGY Blumenkranz, M. S. 2014; 158 (1): 12-25


To present the evolution of laser therapy in modern ophthalmic practice.Review of published experimental and clinical studies.A review was undertaken of the work of multiple investigators leading to the invention of the laser, its biophysical effects on ocular tissues from which it derives its name (light-amplified stimulation of emitted radiation), and the development of various laser-based devices and methods to treat common ophthalmologic disorders, with particular emphasis on new and emerging retinal and anterior segment applications.Because the eye is optimized for the transmission of light and its transduction into neural signals, lasers are particularly well suited for ophthalmic therapy. This fact and the high demands for precision in therapy have inspired the development of highly sophisticated laser systems that have impacted the treatment of common diseases. These include diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, retinal venous occlusive disease, retinopathy of prematurity, and optical aberrations including ametropia, cataract, and glaucoma, among others. Recent developments in scanning laser systems, including image-guided systems with eye tracking, real-time feedback, and ultra-short pulse durations, have enabled increased selectivity, precision, and safety in ocular therapy. However, improved outcomes have been associated with increased cost of medical care, and attention to and optimization of their cost effectiveness will continue to be required in the future.The invention and evolution of modern ophthalmic lasers have enhanced therapeutic options and can serve as a heuristic model for better understanding the process of innovation, including the societal benefits and also unintended consequences, including increased costs.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ajo.2014.03.013

View details for Web of Science ID 000338097300004

View details for PubMedID 24699157