Theoretical and practical aspects relating to the photothermal therapy of tumors of the retina and choroid: A review.

Technology and health care : official journal of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine

PubMedID: 27129030

Rol P, Fankhauser F, Kwasniewska S, Niederer P. Theoretical and practical aspects relating to the photothermal therapy of tumors of the retina and choroid: A review. Technol Health Care. 2016;.
Photothermal treatment of tumors of the retina and choroid such as retinoblastomas, malignant melanomas, benign tumors as well as of vascular malformations can be performed by using laser radiation. A number of basic physical laws have to be taken into account in this procedure. Of particular importance thereby are: Arrhenius' law to approximate the kinetics of protein denaturation and photocoagulation, furthermore the electromagnetic radiation field, the distribution of both radiant and thermal energy induced in tumors and vascular structures, the influence of the wavelength and laser pulse duration (exposure time), as well as of the optical properties of the tissue. Strict confinement of the extent of the photothermal damage is critical since such pathological entities are frequently located close to the macula or optic nerve head. The conditions for tumor destruction are best fulfilled when using radiation in the near-infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum such as that emitted from the diode (810 nm) and the Nd: YAG (1064 nm) laser, because of the good optical penetration properties of these radiations in tissue. Short wavelength sources of radiation, such as the argon ion (488, 514 nm) or the freqeuency-doubled Nd: YAG (532 nm) laser are less well suited for the irradiation of large vascular structures due to their poor penetration depths. However, for vascular formations with a small thickness (1 mm or less), short wavelength sources appear to be the most appropriate choice. Optical coupling of radiant energy to the eye by means of indirect ophthalmoscopic systems or positive contact lenses is furthermore of importance. Strong positive lenses may lead to severe constrictions of the laser beam within the anterior segment, that leads to high irradiance increasing the probability for structures to be damaged; with negative contact lenses, such as the -64 D Goldmann type lens, this danger is largely absent.