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June 1978

Thymoxamine Test: Differentiating Angle-Closure Glaucoma From Open-Angle Glaucoma With Narrow Angles

Author Affiliations

From the Glaucoma Consultation Service, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1978;96(6):1009-1011. doi:10.1001/archopht.1978.03910050533006

• To help differentiate mild angle-closure glaucoma from open-angle glaucoma in patients with elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) and angles so narrow that the structures cannot be seen adequately, we used a thymoxamine hydrochloride eyedrop that induces miosis and tends to widen the angle. Thymoxamine does not contract the ciliary muscle and does not alter the IOP or facility of outflow in open-angle glaucoma, but it can relieve angle-closure glaucoma.

A test with thymoxamine was performed in 26 patients because of this differential diagnostic dilemma. When gonioscopic, tonometric, and tonographic findings appeared to indicate a diagnosis of angle-closure glaucoma, a peripheral iridectomy was done. Subsequent (one to 27 months) observations have substantiated that testing with thymoxamine is a helpful aid in this differential diagnosis, and merits more widespread evaluation.

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