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March 1996

Reversal of Topical Antiglaucoma Medication Effects on the Conjunctiva

Author Affiliations

From Moorfields Eye Hospital (Drs Broadway, Stürmer, and Hitchings) and the Department of Clinical Science, Institute of Ophthalmology (Drs Broadway, Grierson, and Stürmer), London, England; and the Ophthalmology Unit, Department of Medicine, Liverpool (England) University (Dr Grierson).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(3):262-267. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100130258004

Objective:  To determine whether the adverse effects of antiglaucoma medications could be reversed before filtration surgery, potentially reducing the risk of subsequent failure.

Methods:  One month before surgery, 30 patients who were receiving multiple antiglaucoma medications underwent an inferior bulbar conjunctival biopsy, ceased using sympathomimetic drops, and began treatment with topical corticosteroid, (1% fluorometholone four times daily). At the time of surgery two conjunctival biopsy specimens were obtained, one from the operation site (superior bulbar region), and one from the inferior bulbar region. The biopsy specimens were quantitatively analyzed by light microscopy. In addition, the outcome of first trabeculectomy for 16 of these patients was compared with that of 16 matched patients who had not undergone an altered preoperative regimen of topical therapy.

Results:  During a 1-month period a notable decrease occurred in the number of fibroblasts and inflammatory cells throughout the conjunctiva. Inferior bulbar conjunctiva was found to be representative of superior bulbar conjunctiva with respect to these changes. Furthermore, evidence comparing the matched patients suggested that the altered preoperative regimen may have improved the success rate of trabeculectomy.

Conclusions:  The preoperative regimen used reversed the adverse conjunctival effect of topical medication. The regimen may be of clinical benefit in improving the success rate of trabeculectomy.

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