Glaucoma surgery can reverse cupping

June 14, 2007

Significantly more glaucoma patients, who are treated surgically rather than medically, will experience reversal of cupping.

Significantly more glaucoma patients, who are treated surgically rather than medically, will experience reversal of cupping, according to a study presented at the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology congress in Cancun, Mexico.

Richard Parish, MD presented five-year data analysis from the Collaborative Initial Glaucoma Treatment Study (CIGTS). Investigators initially obtained optic disc photos from 607 patients with open angle glaucoma. Of these, 346 had follow-up photos of adequate quality, at the five-year mark, to be considered for analysis.

A total of 61 eyes were considered to have undergone changes of the optic disc and were sent to the CIGTS Optic Disc Endpoint Committee, which agreed on 45 of the 61 readings. They were surprised to discover that 25 of the eyes showed a reversal in optic disc cupping rather than the expected progression. The investigators found that 14% of patients treated surgically had undergone a reversal of cupping, compared with just 1% of those treated medically.

It was concluded that glaucoma surgery can, in some cases, reverse optic disc cupping.