Micropulse Transscleral Cyclophotocoagulation: A Hypothesis for the Ideal Parameters
Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology,
Vol. 7 No. 3 (2018),
1 September 2018
MicroPulse transscleral cyclophotocoagulation (IRIDEX Corp., Mountain View, CA) is a novel technique that uses repetitive micropulses of active diode laser (On cycles) interspersed with resting intervals (Off cycles). It has been proposed that the OFF cycles allow thermal dissipation and, therefore, reduce collateral damage. The literature suggests that Micropulse has a better safety profile compared to traditional continuous-wave cyclophotocoagulation. However, because it is a relatively new technique, there are no clear guidelines stating the ideal laser parameters that would allow the best balance between high and sustained effectiveness with minimal side effects. This research reviewed the literature to approximate ideal parameters for single-session treatment. To simplify the comparison between studies, this study used Joules (J) as a way to standardize the energy levels employed. The reviewed clinical publications allowed reduction of these parameters to a range between 112 and 150 J of total energy, which allows a moderate IOP lowering effect of around 30% with few/no complications. An additional narrowing of the parameters was achieved after analyzing recently published experimental data. These data suggest a different mechanism of action for the Micropulse, similar to that of the pilocarpine. This effect was maximum at 150 J. Since clinical studies show few or no complications, even at those energy levels, it could be hypothesized that the ideal parameters can be located at a point closer to 150 J. This data also leads to the concept of dosimetry; the capacity to dose mTSCPC treatment based on desired IOP lowering effect and risk exposure. Further prospective studies are needed to test the proposed evidence-based hypothesis.