The benefit of early trabeculectomy versus conventional management in primary open angle glaucoma relative to severity of disease

Eye (Lond). 1989:3 ( Pt 5):528-35. doi: 10.1038/eye.1989.84.


One hundred and sixteen patients with newly diagnosed primary open angle glaucoma were selected for a randomised, prospective, multicentre trial if the untreated intraocular pressure was over 25 mmHg and there was field loss characteristic of glaucoma. Conventional management of medical therapy followed by trabeculectomy in unsuccessful cases was compared with trabeculectomy at diagnosis followed where necessary by supplementary medical therapy. At a mean follow-up of 4.6 years there was no significant difference in visual acuity between the groups but the conventional management group had significantly greater loss of visual field which occurred during the unsuccessful attempt at medical control. The eyes which lost most visual field were those with least field loss at diagnosis and this paradox was attributed to a prolonged attempt at medical control in these eyes because they were thought to have a lower risk of visual field deterioration.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Epinephrine / therapeutic use
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / drug therapy
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / physiopathology
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / drug effects
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Random Allocation
  • Timolol / therapeutic use
  • Trabeculectomy*
  • Visual Acuity / drug effects
  • Visual Fields / drug effects


  • Timolol
  • Epinephrine