Modification of trabeculectomy with single-dose intraoperative 5-Fluorouracil application

Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 1998 Feb;76(1):83-9. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0420.1998.760116.x.


Purpose: To assess the outcome of trabeculectomy supplemented with intraoperative 5-Fluorouracil (5 FU) application in glaucoma patients.

Methods: A prospective non-randomized case series of 76 eyes of 76 consecutive patients who underwent trabeculectomy with intraoperative sponge 5 FU (25 mg/ml). Minimum follow-up was 6 months. There were 31 eyes in the low-risk group and 45 eyes in the high-risk group. The reduction in intraocular pressure (IOP) and any treatment complications were noted.

Results: The mean preoperative IOP was 28+/-7.72 mm Hg. The mean final postoperative IOP was 16.8+/-6.1 mm Hg. The average number of glaucoma medications required dropped from 1.8+/-0.8 preoperatively to 0.4+/-0.8 after the operation (p<0.001). Cumulative success rates (IOP less than 21 mm Hg) for all eyes were 93% and 81% at 6 and 12 months, respectively. There was no difference in outcome between the low- and high-risk groups if criteria for success were an IOP of less than 21 mm Hg or an IOP of less than 21 mm Hg and an IOP reduction of 30%. However, if success is defined as an IOP of 15 mm Hg or less and a 30% fall in IOP, then the low-risk group had significantly longer survival times than the high-risk group (p=0.033, log-rank test). Transient punctate keratitis and corneal epithelial defect were each observed in only 1 eye. Other serious complications include rapid progression of cataract in 2 eyes, endophthalmitis in 1 eye and hypotonic maculopathy after subsequent cataract extraction in 1 eye.

Conclusion: Single dose intraoperative 5 FU appears to be a safe and useful adjunct to trabeculectomy. IOPs in the low teens were achieved in a greater proportion of low-risk eyes than high-risk eyes.

MeSH terms

  • Antimetabolites / administration & dosage*
  • Antimetabolites / adverse effects
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage*
  • Fluorouracil / adverse effects
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glaucoma / drug therapy
  • Glaucoma / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Intraoperative Care
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Safety
  • Trabeculectomy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antimetabolites
  • Fluorouracil