Objective: To study the safety and effectiveness of immediate anterior chamber paracentesis, combined with antiglaucomatous medications, in the intraocular pressure control and relief of symptoms of acute primary angle-closure glaucoma (PACG).
Design: Prospective noncomparative case series.
Participants: Eight consecutive patients with their first attack of acute PACG, with intraocular pressure > or =50 mmHg, were recruited into the study.
Intervention: On presentation, each patient received topical pilocarpine (4%) and timolol (0.5%), immediate anterior chamber paracentesis, and systemic acetazolamide and mannitol as primary treatment. The intraocular pressures at 15 and 30 minutes, and then at 1, 2, 3, 12, and 24 hours, were documented by applanation tonometry.
Main outcome measures: Symptoms, visual acuity, intraocular pressure, corneal edema, angle status on gonioscopy, pupillary size, and reaction.
Results: Ten eyes of eight patients seen with acute PACG were recruited. The mean intraocular pressure was reduced from 66.6 +/- 9.1 mmHg to 15.1 +/- 3.5 mmHg immediately after paracentesis, and then to 17.1 +/- 7.0 mmHg at 15 minutes, 21.7 +/- 10.2 mmHg at 30 minutes, 22.7 +/- 11.0 mmHg at 1 hour, and 20.1 +/- 14.6 mmHg at 2 hours after paracentesis. The mean intraocular pressure was less than 21 mmHg at 2 hours and beyond. There was instant symptomatic relief for all patients. No complications from the paracentesis were encountered.
Conclusions: From this preliminary study, immediate paracentesis seems to be safe and effective in controlling the intraocular pressure and eliminating symptoms in acute PACG.