Ab interno Schlemm's Canal Surgery

Dev Ophthalmol. 2017;59:127-146. doi: 10.1159/000458492. Epub 2017 Apr 25.


In primary open-angle glaucoma, the site of greatest resistance to aqueous outflow is thought to be the trabecular meshwork (TM) and inner wall of Schlemm's canal. Augmentation of the conventional (trabecular) outflow pathway can facilitate physiologic outflow and subsequently lower intraocular pressure. The most recent approach to enhancing the conventional outflow pathway is via an internal approach to the TM and Schlemm's canal. Ab interno Schlemm's canal surgery includes 4 novel surgical approaches: (1) removal of the TM and inner wall of Schlemm's canal by an internal approach (ab interno trabeculectomy), (2) implantation of a microstent to bypass the TM, (3) disruption of the TM and inner wall of Schlemm's canal via an internal approach (ab interno trabeculotomy), and (4) dilation of Schlemm's canal via an internal approach (ab interno canaloplasty). The first category includes the Trabectome (Neomedix, Tustin, CA, USA), and Kahook Dual Blade (New World Medical, Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA). The second category includes the iStent (Glaukos, Laguna Hills, CA, USA), as well as the investigational Hydrus Microstent implant (Ivantis, Irvine, CA, USA). The third category includes gonioscopic-assisted transluminal trabeculotomy (iSciences catheter; Ellex, Adelaide, Australia), and 360° suture trabeculotomy (TRAB360, Sight Sciences, Menlo Park, CA, USA). The fourth category includes ab interno canaloplasty or AbiC (Ellex), and Visco360 (Sight Sciences). In contrast to external filtration surgeries, such as trabeculectomy and aqueous tube shunt, these procedures are categorized as internal filtration surgeries and are performed from an internal approach via gonioscopic guidance. Published results suggest that these surgical procedures are both safe and efficacious for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aqueous Humor / physiology*
  • Filtering Surgery / methods*
  • Glaucoma Drainage Implants*
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / physiopathology
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology*
  • Miniaturization
  • Trabecular Meshwork / surgery*