Outcomes of combined endoscopic vitrectomy and posteriorly placed glaucoma drainage devices in pediatric patients

BMC Ophthalmol. 2022 Apr 1;22(1):149. doi: 10.1186/s12886-022-02373-3.


Background: This study aims to describe outcomes of posteriorly-placed glaucoma drainage devices (GDD) with concurrent endoscopic vitrectomy in pediatric patients with glaucoma and corneal opacification.

Methods: This retrospective case series identified patients under 18 years of age who underwent posteriorly-placed GDD implantation with concurrent endoscopic vitrectomy between 2012 and 2021. Data collected included ocular diagnoses, prior intraocular surgeries, type and position of GDD, surgical complications, and additional surgeries. Preoperative and final visual acuity, intraocular pressure (IOP), number of glaucoma medications, and exam findings were also recorded. Surgical data included type and position of GDD, Success was defined as IOP between 5-21 mmHg without visually devastating complication or need for additional glaucoma surgery.

Results: Ten patients (14 eyes) with sclerocornea (6), Peters Anomaly (4), corneal decompensation from increased IOP (3), and corneal scar (1) underwent combined endoscopic vitrectomy with posteriorly-placed GDD (Baerveldt (10 eyes), Ahmed (4 eyes)) at 4.6 ± 5.8 years of age. Four eyes of 3 patients remained successful at final follow-up, while 10 eyes of 7 patients required 2.4 ± 1.3 additional surgeries for glaucoma (7) or hypotony (3). Kaplan Meier analysis demonstrated 1- and 2-year survival rates of 36% and 18%, respectively. At final follow-up (3.7 ± 2.4 years), after an average of 4.4 ± 2.4 glaucoma surgeries, 13 of 14 eyes had obtained IOP control on significantly fewer (p<0.0001) IOP-lowering medications. Additional complications included retinal detachment (2), chronic corneal graft failure (2), phthisis (1) and band keratopathy (1).

Conclusions: Management of glaucoma in pediatric eyes with corneal opacification is challenging and often requires multiple surgeries. A combined endoscopic vitrectomy and posteriorly placed GDD is a viable technique to establish aqueous humor outflow. Although the success rate is low, this surgical approach may be useful in ultimately obtaining IOP control and preserving vision in these complex eyes.

Keywords: Endoscopic vitrectomy; Glaucoma drainage device; Microphthalmia; Pediatric glaucoma; Peters Anomaly; Sclerocornea.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Glaucoma Drainage Implants* / adverse effects
  • Glaucoma* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitrectomy / adverse effects