Purpose: To determine the visual outcomes and surgical and anesthetic complication rates of patients with newborn glaucoma operated within 1 month of age.
Design: Retrospective, consecutive, noncomparative case series.
Participants: All children with newborn glaucoma who underwent surgery between January 1990 and December 2000 were included.
Methods: The medical records of 25 consecutive patients (47 eyes) who underwent primary combined trabeculotomy and trabeculectomy either bilaterally in a single session or unilaterally were reviewed retrospectively. Outcomes were evaluated using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.
Main outcome measures: Clinical outcome assessment included corneal clarity, intraocular pressure (IOP), bleb characteristics, visual acuity, refractive errors, and identification of surgical and anesthetic complications.
Results: The mean follow-up was 3.1+/-1.8 years (range, 9.5 months-7.4 years). The mean preoperative IOP was 26.9+/-5.2 mmHg (range, 14-42 mmHg). At the final follow-up visit, the mean IOP was 14.5+/-3.8 mmHg (range, 8-28 mmHg). The percentage reduction in IOP was 43.3+/-21.5 (P<0.0001). Twelve-, 24-, and 36-month survival rates for complete success for IOP control were 89.4%, 83.6%, and 71.7%, respectively, which were maintained for 7 years of follow-up. After surgery, complete clearance of corneal edema was achieved in 66% of the eyes. Data on visual acuity was available for 19 patients. Final best spectacle-corrected visual acuity was 20/40 or better in the better eye in 5 patients (26.3%), 7 patients (36.8%) obtained 20/60 or better in the better eye, 8 patients (42.1%) achieved final visual acuity of less than 20/60 to 20/200 in the better eye (low vision), and four patients obtained less than 20/400 visual acuity in the better eye (blind) according to World Health Organization criteria. However, there was no eye with absent perception of light in the better eye. Myopia (mean spherical equivalent, 4.6+/-3.2 diopters) was the most common refractive error, present in approximately half of the eyes (n = 23; 53.8%). There were no significant intraoperative or postoperative complications in any patient. Anesthesia-related complications developed in 2 patients; however, they were resuscitated successfully.
Conclusions: Primary combined trabeculotomy-trabeculectomy offers a viable surgical option in infants that have cloudy corneas at birth as a result of congenital glaucoma. It is associated with a favorable visual outcome and a low rate of anesthetic complications in an Indian population.