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Tsilimbaris, Miltiadis K. MD, PhD*,†; Kontadakis, Georgios A. MD, MSc*,†; Tsika, Chrysanthi MD, MSc*,†; Papageorgiou, Dimitrios MD, MSc*; Charoniti, Maria BA*

doi: 10.1097/IAE.0b013e31826b0c06
Original Study

Purpose: To evaluate the effect of laser panretinal photocoagulation for bilateral proliferative diabetic retinopathy on vision-related quality of life.

Methods: In this prospective study, 20 patients (12 men and 8 women) with bilateral proliferative diabetic retinopathy treated with panretinal photocoagulation were included (mean age: 65 years, SD: 11.6 years). On average, patients received 2,140 laser spots per eye. The National Eye Institute 25-Item Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ-25) was used to evaluate patients' vision-related quality of life. The VFQ-25 was filled in by interview twice, at the beginning and at least 1 month after the completion of panretinal photocoagulation. Comparison of preoperative and postoperative VFQ-25 composite and subscale scores was performed. Correlation was evaluated between change in composite score and treatment intensity as indicated by mean number in laser spots.

Results: Mean composite score before laser treatment was 71.9 ± 14.8 and after treatment it was 70.6 ± 17.2 (P = 0.748, paired t-test). None of the subscale scores had a statistically significant difference before and after treatment. Composite score change was not correlated with treatment intensity.

Conclusion: Panretinal photocoagulation as applied in our study, although destructive in nature, is well tolerated by the patients, without interfering significantly with their quality of life.

In Brief

In this study, the 25-Item Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ-25) is used for the evaluation of the effect of panretinal photocoagulation on vision-related quality of life of diabetic retinopathy patients. No statistically significant alteration in VFQ-25 scores after the treatment was found. Panretinal photocoagulation does not seem to significantly affect patients' quality of life.

Author Information

*Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Institute of Vision & Optics, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Crete, Crete, Greece.

Reprint requests: Miltiadis K. Tsilimbaris, MD, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Heraklion, GR71003 Voutes, Heraklion, Crete, Greece; e-mail:

None of the authors has a financial interest in any of the materials or methods discussed.

© The Ophthalmic Communications Society, Inc.