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October 2002

Expectations From Clinical Trials: Results of the Early Manifest Glaucoma Trial

Arch Ophthalmol. 2002;120(10):1371-1372. doi:10.1001/archopht.120.10.1371

PHYSICIANS REGULARLY look for indications of the best practices so that they can appropriately advise and treat their patients. Readers of this month's ARCHIVES will have considerable interest in the first results from the Early Manifest Glaucoma Trial1 (EMGT), a National Eye Institute (NEI)–sponsored study to determine whether patients with newly diagnosed glaucoma can benefit from treatment that reduces their intraocular pressure (IOP). The EMGT may be the only clinical trial for glaucoma that will ever include an untreated study arm of patients known to have the disease. Although some readers may wonder whether it was ethical not to treat a patient with glaucomatous damage, the study was carefully designed so that untreated patients who showed the earliest progression of the disease were immediately offered treatment. Thus, no patients were allowed to lose a significant amount of visual field while going untreated.

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