Macular atrophy affer photocoagulation of soft drusen

José M. Ruiz-Moreno, Concepción De la Vega, Marco A. Zarbin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: To analyze the appearance and characteristics of macular atrophy after photocoagulation of soft drusen. Patients and Methods: The authors studied the development of macular atrophy in 52 consecutive eyes (52 patients) that underwent green argon laser photocoagulation for the treatment of soft drusen. The mean age was 71.4 ± 5.1 years (range, 61-85 years). Twelve eyes (23%) were in men and 40 (77%) were in women. Follow-up averaged 50.1 ± 21.3 months (range, 6-96 months). Results: Macular atrophy occurred in nine eyes (17.7%), including five (56%) women and four (44%) men. The time interval between photocoagulation and macular atrophy averaged 37.2 ± 21.2 months (range, 7-75 months). The mean age of patients with macular atrophy was 68.1 ± 4.6 years (range, 61-75 years). Mean best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) after soft drusen photocoagulation and before macular atrophy development was 20/55 (range, 20/28-20/200). After the appearance of macular atrophy, mean BCVA was 20/126 (range, 20/50-20/900). Differences between BCVA before and after macular atrophy were statistically significant (P = 0.02, student's paired t-test). Conclusions: Macular atrophy can occur after photocoagulation of soft drusen, as applied according to our treatment protocol. The development of macular atrophy was associated with a significant decrease in BCVA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-321
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology


  • Argon laser photocoagulation
  • Choroidal neovascularization
  • Macular atrophy
  • Soft drusen


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