Review of results from the Tube Versus Trabeculectomy Study

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2010 Mar;21(2):123-8. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0b013e3283360b68.


Purpose of review: The Tube Versus Trabeculectomy (TVT) Study is a multicenter randomized clinical trial comparing the safety and efficacy of tube-shunt surgery to trabeculectomy with mitomycin (MMC) in eyes with previous cataract and/or unsuccessful glaucoma surgery. This article reviews published results from the TVT Study.

Recent findings: Tube-shunt surgery had a higher success rate than trabeculectomy with MMC during the first 3 years of follow-up. Trabeculectomy with MMC produced greater intraocular pressure (IOP) reduction in the early postoperative period compared with tube-shunt placement, but similar IOPs were observed after 3 months. Tube-shunt surgery was associated with greater use of adjunctive-medical therapy than trabeculectomy with MMC during the first 2 years of the study, but no difference in medication use was seen at 3 years. The incidence of postoperative complications was higher after trabeculectomy with MMC compared with tube-shunt surgery, but serious complications associated with vision loss and/or reoperation developed with similar frequency after both surgical procedures. No difference in the rate of vision loss was present following trabeculectomy with MMC and tube-shunt surgery after 3 years of follow-up. Cataract progression was common, but occurred with similar frequency with both procedures.

Summary: Intermediate-term results of the TVT Study support the expanded use of tube shunts beyond refractory glaucomas. Tube-shunt surgery is an appropriate surgical option in patients who have undergone prior cataract and/or unsuccessful filtering surgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alkylating Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology
  • Glaucoma / surgery*
  • Glaucoma Drainage Implants*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology*
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Mitomycin / administration & dosage*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prosthesis Implantation
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Trabeculectomy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Alkylating Agents
  • Mitomycin