Objective: To investigate the safety and efficacy of a new laser procedure using a q-switched 532-nm neodymium (Nd):YAG laser, also called "selective laser trabeculoplasty," to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open-angle glaucoma (OAG). The laser parameters were set to selectively target pigmented trabecular meshwork (TM) cells without coagulative damage to the TM structure or nonpigmented cells.
Design: Nonrandomized, prospective, clinical trial.
Participants: Thirty eyes of 30 patients with uncontrolled OAG (OAG group) and 23 eyes of 23 patients with uncontrolled OAG treated previously with argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT group) were observed for 4 to 26 weeks. Forty-four of the 53 eyes were observed for 26 weeks.
Intervention: Patients were treated with the Coherent Selecta 7000 (Coherent, Inc, Palo Alto, CA) frequency-doubled q-switched Nd:YAG laser (532 nm). A total of approximately 50 nonoverlapping spots were placed over 180 degrees of the TM at energy levels ranging from 0.6 to 1.2 mJ per pulse. After surgery, patients were maintained with the identical drug regimen as that before treatment.
Results: Both the OAG and ALT groups showed similar IOP reductions over time. Seventy percent of patients in each group responded to treatment with an IOP reduction of least 3 mmHg. At 26 weeks of follow-up, mean IOP reduction was 5.8 mmHg (23.5%, P < 0.001) for the OAG group and 6.0 mmHg (24.2%, P < 0.001) for the ALT group. The untreated eye showed a 9.7% (P < 0.001) reduction of IOP at 26 weeks. However, the IOP difference between the treated and untreated eyes was statistically significant at P < 0.003. Transient IOP elevation of 5 mmHg or greater was seen in 24% of patients.
Conclusion: The selective laser trabeculoplasty appears to be a safe and effective method to lower IOP in patients with OAG and patients treated previously with ALT. A reduction of IOP can be achieved without coagulation of the TM.