Drainage implants safe for children

March 31, 2007

Glaucoma drainage implant surgery is a safe and effective treatment for primary and secondary paediatric glaucoma in addition to initial surgical and medical therapy, according to Inka Helmanova and colleagues from the Masaryk University Hospital, Czech Republic.

Glaucoma drainage implant surgery is a safe and effective treatment for primary and secondary paediatric glaucoma in addition to initial surgical and medical therapy, according to Inka Helmanova and colleagues from the Masaryk University Hospital, Czech Republic.

Dr Helmanova conducted a retrospective study in 76 children undergoing glaucoma drainage implantation. Mean age was recorded at 6.9±5.3 years (range four months to 17.5 years). Results were compared for children with primary and secondary glaucoma. Mean follow-up was 7.1±6.5 years (range 1.6 to 15.2 years).

Mean preoperative and postoperative intraocular pressure (IOP) was 33.6±17.4 mmHg and 17.1±6.5 mmHg, respectively. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis demonstrated a cumulative probability of success of 93% at six months, 82% at two years, 71% at four years and 65% at six years. No differences were noted between primary (n=32 eyes) and secondary glaucoma (n=45 eyes) patients in terms of success (p=0.183), final IOP, number of medications or length of follow-up. Glaucoma drainage implant surgery was successful for a mean period of 6.7 years.

It would appear that glaucoma drainage implant surgery is both safe and effective as an addition to normal surgical treatment and medical therapy for paediatric patients.