Purpose: To evaluate the effect of contact transscleral diode cyclophotocoagulation on intraocular pressure (IOP), vision, number of medications, and complications in a heterogenous population of patients with refractory glaucoma.
Methods: Clinical data for all patients undergoing contact transscleral diode cyclophotocoagulation for refractory glaucoma at the Medical College of Georgia between November 1994 and November 1996 were reviewed. Forty-seven eyes of forty-seven patients followed for at least one month were included. Visual acuity, IOP, number of medications, and complications were noted for follow-up periods as long as 24 months.
Results: At final follow-up examination (range 1-24 months, median 9 months), the average decrease in IOP was 21+/-16 mmHg. Thirty-one (66%) patients had final IOP between 7 and 21 mmHg. Medications were decreased by an average of 1.1. Twenty-six (62%) of 42 patients with vision before surgery had stable or improved visual acuity at the final follow-up visit; 16 (38%) had a deterioration in visual acuity. Neovascular glaucoma was associated with a posttreatment IOP less than 7 mmHg.
Conclusion: Contact transscleral diode cyclophotocoagulation is effective in lowering IOP in eyes with refractory glaucoma. It also serves to reduce the number of medications required for appropriate IOP control. Loss of visual acuity remains an important concern. Acute complications tend to be transient. Further study is needed to identify patients at risk for markedly reduced IOP after this procedure and for modulation of the protocol to decrease such risk.