Almost 67% of patients older than 65 years of age have had a posterior vitreous detachment, many of whom are bothered by their floaters. YAG vitreolysis might be a viable treatment for patients with symptomatic floaters.
According to a pilot study conducted by Chirag Shah, MD, MPH, and Jeffrey Heier, MD, the results of this small, randomized clinical trial found that visual symptoms associated with symptomatic vitreous floaters improved with YAG vitreolysis, without any clinically relevant adverse events. They reported their findings in JAMA Ophthalmology (published online July 20, 2017).
“YAG vitreolysis for symptomatic floaters has been around for some time,” Dr. Shah explained. “However, this procedure is shrouded in controversy because of the lack of data regarding its efficacy and safety. Given the prevalence of floaters and the need for clinical trial data, I designed a pilot study evaluating YAG vitreolysis.
“I am hopeful the results of our study will inspire others to conduct at least one large multi-centered, clinical trial so we can better understand the risks and benefits of this procedure,” he added.
Dr. Shah and Dr. Heier, both at Tufts University, Boston, performed a single-center, masked, sham-controlled clinical trial from March 25, 2015 to August 3, 2016, that included 52 eyes of 52 patients (median age, 62 years). Of these, 36 patients were treated with YAG laser vitreolysis and 16 patients with sham vitreolysis.