The detection of post-traumatic angle recession by gonioscopy in a population-based glaucoma survey

Ophthalmology. 1994 Nov;101(11):1844-50. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(94)31091-8.


Background: Blunt trauma is responsible for most eye injuries in urban populations. Anterior chamber angle recession has been reported to be the most common sign of previous blunt trauma to the eye. The cumulative lifetime prevalence of post-traumatic angle recession has not been reported previously, and the relation between angle recession and glaucoma in a population-based setting is unknown.

Methods: As part of a population-based glaucoma survey, gonioscopy was performed on 987 (82.7%) of 1194 inhabitants of the village of Mamre, near Cape Town, South Africa, who were 40 years of age or older.

Results: Some degree of angle recession was identified in one eye of 60 people and in both eyes of 86 people. Men were affected more than three times as often as women in the fifth, sixth, and seventh decades. The cumulative lifetime prevalence of angle recession in this community was 14.6%. The prevalence of glaucoma in people with angle recession was 5.5% (8/146). Of 87 eyes with 360 degrees of angle recession, only 7 (8.0%) had glaucoma. Excessive alcohol consumption was significantly related to the presence of angle recession in women (P < 0.001). The prevalence of monocular blindness due to trauma was 2.5% (25/987).

Conclusion: Although the importance of the study may be limited to this community, the findings suggest that future population-based studies of ocular trauma should include gonioscopy on all individuals examined. Secondary glaucomas, especially those related to trauma, should be screened for in developing countries when trying to establish the prevalence of potential visual loss from glaucoma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Blindness / epidemiology
  • Blindness / etiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eye Injuries / complications*
  • Eye Injuries / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / epidemiology*
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / etiology
  • Gonioscopy*
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • South Africa / epidemiology