A study for the AGES! In the AGIS study, 789 eyes with medically recalcitrant open-angle glaucoma (OAG) were randomized to two different treatment sequences: argon laser trabeculoplasty --> trabeculectomy --> trabeculectomy (ATT; n=404) and trabeculectomy --> argon laser trabeculoplasty --> trabeculectomy (TAT; n=385). The primary outcomes include visual field (VF) & visual acuity (VA), and other outcomes included intraocular pressure (IOP), surgical complications, time to treatment failure, additional medical therapy needed.
Overall, the AGIS study is a landmark study because it studied varying sequences of surgical and procedural interventions in glaucoma patients. The key conclusion at the time surrounded the different optimal treatment algorithm for white and black patients. However, given the development of treatment options such as SLT and MIGS since the study, the outcomes of the study should be considered in the context of the times of the study.
No pressure… but we may need to lower the pressure. Prior to the CNTGS, there was no consensus regarding the treatment of normal tension glaucoma – glaucomatous optic nerve damage in the setting of normal range intraocular pressures (IOP). In this 1998 study, patients with normal tension glaucoma were randomized into a treatment cohort (pressure lowered by >30%) and an untreated, control cohort to determine if lowering IOP played a protective role in patients with normal tension glaucoma.
Overall, the CNTGS is a landmark study because it highlights the role of pressure-lowering therapy in preventing disease progression of normal tension glaucoma. Importantly, the visual field benefits were only identified once excluding patients for visual changes secondary to cataract formation. Still, the clinical relevance of the CNTGS showed that treating IOP, even in patients with normal IOP, reduces glaucomatous visual field damage in patients with NTG.
An ounce of eye drops might be worth a pound of prevention. In the 2002 OHTS trial, subjects with ocular hypertension (but not glaucoma) were randomized to observation or to topical treatment to reduce IOP by 20% and to <24 mmHg. Subjects were monitored for the development of glaucoma.
Overall, the landmark OHTS trial showed that treating ocular hypertension reduced the risk of developing POAG by more than half. Clinicians should consider treatment in ocular hypertensive patients with moderate to high risk of developing glaucoma.
In the 2003 Early Manifest Glaucoma Trial (EMGT) study, 255 patients with open-angle glaucoma (OAG) were randomized to argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT) with topical betaxolol (n=129) or no immediate treatment (n=126) and had follow up appointments every three months for four years.
Overall, the EMGT study is a landmark study because it quantitatively concluded that initial IOP reduction is crucial in lowering the risk of progression in early OAG and that the magnitude of immediate IOP reduction postoperatively predicted disease progression.
Is there a plumber in the house? The TVT study sought to compare the safety and efficacy of tube shunt surgery to trabeculectomy with mitomycin C (MMC) in eyes with prior intraocular surgery. Patients aged 18-85 years old with intraocular pressure (IOP) ≥ 18 mm Hg and ≤ 40 mm Hg on maximum tolerated medical therapy, and who had previously undergone cataract surgery and/or failed filtering glaucoma surgery were randomized into 2 groups: the 350 mm Baerveldt implant group (n = 107) and the trabeculectomy with MMC group (n = 105).
TVT is a landmark study in changing practice patterns to expand tube implantation in cases beyond refractory glaucoma. This study demonstrated that tube implantation is more efficacious in lowering IOP in patients who failed previously filtration surgery, rather than undergoing a repeat trabeculectomy.
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