The Effect of Trabeculectomy on Astigmatism

J Glaucoma. 2016 Apr;25(4):e308-12. doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000000236.


Purpose: To investigate the change in corneal astigmatism after trabeculectomy.

Patients and methods: Between January and April 2012, patients who underwent a primary trabeculectomy were enrolled in this prospective study. We measured the visual acuity, automated keratorefractometry, and the intraocular pressure preoperatively and postoperatively at 1, 3, and 6 months. Changes in astigmatism were quantified using the vector analysis described by Cravy. A Friedman test and a linear model for longitudinal measures were used to compare changes in the refraction and the intraocular pressure. A binomial test was used to compare the proportion of eyes with a shift in astigmatism with or against-the-rule.

Results: A total of 47 eyes (47/48 patients) were included for analysis. The mean (±SD) intraocular pressure decreased from 17.5 ± 5.4 mmHg preoperatively to 9.8 ± 4.0 mmHg after 6 months (P<0.001). At this time-point, 32/47 eyes showed a shift in astigmatism with-the-rule (P=0.02), with a median difference in cylinder of +0.50 D (range, 0 to 4 D) (P=0.004). The mean (±SD) axis of the positive cylinder changed from 169 ± 148 to 135 ± 146 degrees after 6 months (P=0.12) and the mean (±SD) spherical equivalent changed from -0.47 ± 2.27 to -0.07 ± 1.93 D (P=0.15). The mean (±SD) logMAR was 0.17 ± 0.22 preoperatively and 0.14 ± 0.14 after 6 months (P=0.9).

Conclusions: Trabeculectomy induced a small but statistically significant shift in astigmatism with-the-rule after 6 months. The spherical equivalent did not change compared with the preoperative value. Most often, glasses will not need to be changed after trabeculectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Astigmatism / physiopathology*
  • Exfoliation Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Exfoliation Syndrome / surgery*
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / physiopathology
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology
  • Low Tension Glaucoma / physiopathology
  • Low Tension Glaucoma / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tonometry, Ocular
  • Trabeculectomy*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology