The characteristics of intraocular "explosions" secondary to photocoagulation of the iris and retina are presented. With the xenon photocoagulator acoustical transients reached peak pressures of almost 900 mm Hg with pulse rise times of 0.3 msec. No significant pressure elevations were found with the argon laser even at maximum time and energy settings. In young healthy animal eyes exposed to high pressure transients, we detected no secondary tissue damage. The results from flat preparations of the corneal endothelium, light and electron microscopy were negative for secondary tissue damage even with eyes exposed to four intraocular explosions. Despite these results, clinical data suggested that, especially in diseased tissue, intraocular explosions induced by the xenon photocoagulator have the potential to cause ocular damage; therefore, these intraocular explosions should be avoided.
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