Purpose: To describe structural abnormalities of the lacrimal drainage system and outcomes after treatment for lacrimal outflow obstruction in children with Down's syndrome.
Design: Retrospective comparative interventional case series.
Participants: Thirty-eight eyes of 22 consecutive Down's syndrome patients who underwent surgical treatment for nasolacrimal drainage obstruction (mean age, 32 months) and 59 eyes of 44 non-Down's syndrome patients who underwent surgical treatment after 2 years of age.
Main outcome measures: Resolution of symptoms after surgery and presence of anatomic abnormalities of the lacrimal drainage system other than persistent Hasner's membrane.
Results: Among the Down's syndrome eyes, complete or partial resolution was noted in 34 (89%) of 38 eyes; 7 (18%) eyes underwent more than 1 procedure. Twenty-eight (74%) of 38 eyes had anatomic anomalies other than persistent Hasner's membrane; anomalies proximal to the nasolacrimal sac predominated. In comparison, 50 (85%) non-Down's syndrome eyes experienced complete or partial resolution, and 19 (32%) had anatomic abnormalities other than persistent Hasner's membrane; anomalies distal to the nasolacrimal sac predominated.
Conclusions: Compared with older non-Down's syndrome patients, nasolacrimal outflow obstruction in Down's syndrome patients is more often complicated by anomalies of the lacrimal drainage system proximal to the lacrimal sac. Despite this, surgery can be similarly successful. Awareness of the possible peculiarities of lacrimal outflow obstruction in Down's syndrome patients may allow better selection and use of available treatment options.