Evaluation of visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, macular thickness, and vision related quality of life post laser photocoagulation among diabetic macular edema patients

Saidin Nor-Masniwati, Bethel Indira Livingstone, Ab Rahman Azriani, Embong Zunaina


Objectives: This study aims to assess the treatment satisfaction post laser photocoagulation among DME patients by evaluating the visual function (visual acuity and contrast sensitivity), macular thickness, and vision-related quality of life (QoL) score post laser photocoagulation. Methods: DME patients were selected and categorized into mild, moderate, and severe groups. All patients underwent focal or grid laser photocoagulation. The visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, macular thickness, and QoL scoring were performed at baseline and at 3 months post focal or grid laser photocoagulation. QoL scores were measured using National Eye Institute 25-Item Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25). Results: A total of 61 patients (111 eyes) with DME were included in this study (mild DME, 40 eyes; moderate DME, 35 eyes; severe DME, 36 eyes). At 3 months post laser photocoagulation, moderate and severe DME showed significantly improved in the mean visual acuity (p<0.001 and p = 0.047, respectively).  There was no significant difference of mean contrast sensitivity between baseline and post laser photocoagulation in each group of DME. The mean macular thickness was significantly reduced in mild DME (p<0.001) and moderate DME (p = 0.049). The mean QOL score was significantly increased in moderate DME (p = 0.002) and severe DME (p = 0.038). Conclusion: Moderate DME demonstrated a significant increase of QoL score at 3 months post laser photocoagulation treatment which is consistent with improvement of visual acuity and reduction of macular thickness. However, there was no improvement in contrast sensitivity post laser photocoagulation treatment.


Diabetic macular edema; contrast sensitivity; laser photocoagulation; macular thickness; vision related quality of life; visual acuity

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