Role of lens extraction and laser peripheral iridotomy in treatment of glaucoma

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2018 Jan;29(1):96-99. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0000000000000435.


Purpose of review: Lens extraction in people with coexisting cataract and open angle glaucoma is associated with a reduction in intraocular pressure (IOP). In primary angle-closure glaucoma (PACG), lens extraction and laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) can be used to open the anterior chamber angle, increase the outflow through the trabecular meshwork and reduce the IOP. The present review will summarize the recent available literature regarding the role of both interventions for the treatment of glaucoma.

Recent findings: Recent articles have confirmed the effect of cataract surgery as an IOP-lowering procedure in people with coexisting cataract and glaucoma, and highlight that the most important predictor for a greater decrease is a higher preoperative IOP. The probability for achieving a significant IOP reduction is highest in PACG and pseudoexfoliation glaucoma. Clear lens extraction (CLE) is associated with better clinical and quality of life outcomes than laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) in patients with early or moderate PACG and those with primary angle closure and IOP over 30 mmHg. There is no high-quality evidence to support LPI in the treatment of pigmentary glaucoma.

Summary: Evidence from the assessed period supports the IOP-lowering effect of cataract surgery in people with coexisting cataract and glaucoma. CLE is an option in the initial treatment of some patients with PACG as its superiority has been demonstrated against LPI.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cataract / complications*
  • Cataract Extraction / methods*
  • Glaucoma / complications
  • Glaucoma / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Iris / surgery*
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Lens, Crystalline / surgery*