Purpose: Glaucoma is a major cause of blindness in developing nations. Medical and laser therapy have limitations in this environment. Filtration surgery alone often fails in young, darkly pigmented, individuals. The authors, therefore, evaluated the safety and efficacy of filtration surgery, using topical mitomycin C, in patients undergoing trabeculectomy in India.
Methods: A short-term pilot study used mitomycin C at the time of trabeculectomy in a population of southern Indians with various forms of glaucoma. A single 5-minute intraoperative application of 0.4 mg/ml mitomycin C was given to 76 consecutive patients requiring filtration surgery for the control of intraocular pressure (IOP). All patients were admitted for 6 days and were seen at 6-week intervals for a minimum of 18 weeks.
Results: The mean preoperative IOP was 35.3 +/- 9.6 mmHg. Postoperative IOP control was attained in 93.4% of patients as defined by an IOP of 20 mmHg or less without additional glaucoma medications (or an IOP reduction > 25% if the preoperative IOP was < or = 20 mmHg). No corneal epithelial defects or wound leaks were seen. The major complications were cataract formation and a decreased visual acuity in ten (13%) eyes.
Conclusion: Mitomycin C-aided trabeculectomy was highly successful in controlling IOP in this darkly pigmented population and may become an important adjunct in the treatment of glaucoma in developing countries.