Background and objective: This study examined the long-term effect of neodynium:YAG (Nd:YAG) laser iridotomy on the corneal endothelium.
Patients and methods: A prospective study was designed. Patients with narrow and occludable angles or fellow eye of acute angle closure glaucoma attack were treated with Nd:YAG laser iridotomy. For one year, 31 eyes of 21 patients underwent complete follow-up. Corneal endothelial specular microscopy was performed before and after laser iridotomy at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months.
Results: The decrease of endothelial cell density after YAG laser iridotomy was statistically significant at 1 month (P = 0.036), 6 months (P = 0.004), and 12 months (P = 0.000), respectively. The decrease was not statistically significant at 3 months (P = 0.467). Linear regression analysis indicated no statistical correlation between the percentage change in endothelial cell density and the total energy used during the treatment (1 month: P=0.08, 3 months: P= 0.3, 6 months: P=0.9, 12 months: P=0.2).
Conclusion: This study demonstrated significant endothelial cell loss in the 1-year follow-up. The result suggested that Nd:YAG laser iridotomy may pose a long-term hazard to the corneal endothelium.