Strabismus After Ahmed Glaucoma Valve Implantation

Am J Ophthalmol. 2021 Feb:222:1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2020.08.019. Epub 2020 Aug 17.


Purpose: Most reports of strabismus after glaucoma drainage device implantation study larger devices and rarely note the incidence of strabismus after Ahmed glaucoma valve (AGV) implantation. It is unknown if the pattern of strabismus is similar with smaller devices. We investigated characteristics of strabismus after AGV implantation.

Design: Retrospective review.

Methods: Institutional study of 732 patients at our institution undergoing AGV implantation between 2013 and 2018. Rate and characteristics of strabismus were the primary outcome; age, gender, and location of AGVs were also analyzed.

Results: We identified 29 patients who developed new-onset strabismus postoperatively after initial AGV implantation, for 4% incidence of strabismus. Twenty-one (72%) of these had diplopia. AGVs were implanted superotemporally in 21, superonasally in 5, inferotemporally in 1, and inferonasally in 2. Three patients were esotropic, 11 were exotropic, 4 had hypertropia, 2 had hypotropia, and 9 patients had combined horizontal/vertical strabismus (esotropia/hypotropia [n = 1] or exotropia/hypertropias [n = 8]). Exotropia was the most common type of strabismus in both the superotemporal and superonasal (60%) AGV groups. Superotemporal AGVs were more commonly associated with ipsilateral hypertropia (43%) than superonasal AGVs. Treatments included strabismus surgery (n = 14), prisms (n = 6), or an occlusive lens (n = 1).

Discussion: In the largest single-center series of patients undergoing initial AGV implantation, the overall incidence of postoperative strabismus was 4%. This is comparable to strabismus incidence following implantation of other types of glaucoma drainage devices, even larger devices. The possibility of this complication should be discussed with patients prior to surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology
  • Glaucoma / surgery*
  • Glaucoma Drainage Implants / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oculomotor Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Strabismus / etiology*
  • Strabismus / physiopathology
  • Visual Acuity*
  • Young Adult