Diode laser transscleral cyclophotocoagulation as a primary surgical treatment for primary open-angle glaucoma

Arch Ophthalmol. 2001 Mar;119(3):345-50. doi: 10.1001/archopht.119.3.345.


Objectives: To evaluate the feasibility of diode laser transscleral cyclophotocoagulation (TSCPC) as a primary surgical treatment for primary open-angle glaucoma and to compare 2 laser energy settings used for treatment.

Methods: In a prospective clinical trial in Cape Coast and Accra, Ghana, 1 eye of each of 92 patients with primary open-angle glaucoma was treated by diode laser TSCPC as a primary surgical treatment. Eyes were randomly assigned to receive treatment by 20 applications of either 1.5 W applied for 1.5 seconds or 1.25 W applied for 2.5 seconds.

Results: Seventy-nine (86%) of 92 patients completed 3 months of follow-up; follow-up was 13.2 +/- 6.0 months (mean +/- SD). Intraocular pressure decreased in 53 (67%) of the 79 eyes. The drop in intraocular pressure was 20% or more in 37 eyes (47%) and final intraocular pressure was 22 mm Hg or less in 38 eyes (48%). An atonic pupil was a previously unreported complication that arose in 27 (28%) of 92 eyes. There were no serious complications of hypotony, phthisis bulbi, or sympathetic ophthalmia. Visual acuity decreased in 18 (23%) of 79 eyes treated by TSCPC and in 10 (23%) of 47 fellow eyes treated only with glaucoma medications. There was no difference in outcomes between the 2 laser energy settings.

Conclusions: Diode laser TSCPC is a practical, rapid, well-tolerated procedure that may provide a modest and variable lowering of intraocular pressure. The treatment, used with conservative energy levels applied to the eye, seems to have few serious complications, although a previously unrecognized complication of atonic pupil needs further evaluation. A moderate variation in laser energy settings does not influence the results of treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ciliary Body / surgery*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Laser Coagulation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reoperation
  • Sclera
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity