Purpose: To report the safety and efficacy of Ahmed Glaucoma Valve (New World Medical, Inc., Rancho Cucamonga, California, USA) implantation for the management of pediatric glaucoma in the early and intermediate follow-up period.
Design: Consecutive interventional case series.
Method: A retrospective chart review was conducted on 60 eyes (44 patients, age range at surgery 1.5 months to 16 years, average 6 +/- 4.9 years), with pediatric glaucoma that underwent Ahmed Glaucoma Valve implantation for medically uncontrolled intraocular pressure (IOP) between the years 1995 and 2000. Outcome measures were control of IOP below 21 mm Hg, the need for antiglaucoma medications after surgery, and loss of 2 or more lines of Snellen acuity. Complications were monitored.
Results: The postoperative follow-up period for each eye averaged 24.3 +/- 16 months (range, 3 to 60 months). At last follow-up, IOP was controlled in 44 eyes (73%), 11 of which did not need antiglaucoma therapy. Kaplan-Meier life-table analysis showed probability of success with or without medications of 93% (95% confidence interval [CI], 86%-100%), 86% (95% CI, 77%-96%), 71% (95% CI, 59%-87%), and 45% (95% CI, 28%-80%) after 12, 24, 36, and 48 months of follow-up. Average IOP decreased from 32.8 +/- 6.2 before surgery to 16.6 +/- 8.0 postoperatively (P <.0001). The average number of medications used decreased from 4.4 +/- 1.97 to 2.0 +/- 2.0 (P <.0001). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis did not reveal any difference in survival profiles related to specific diagnosis of glaucoma, age (above or below 18 months), or prior surgery. Complications occurred in 30 eyes (50%). Although most resolved or were treated successfully, four patients had severe visual loss during the follow-up. Uveitis was a significant risk factor for tube exposure (Fisher exact test, P =.006).
Conclusions: Ahmed Glaucoma Valve implantation is an effective treatment for pediatric glaucoma, although patients frequently require antiglaucoma medications. However, a high rate of potentially sight-threatening postoperative complications warrants ongoing close follow-up.