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    Gel stent for glaucoma patients finds 40% reduction in IOP

    Patients in study only need one medication versus preoperative average of three drugs

     

    Experience in Europe

    As the implant is not yet approved by the FDA, it is currently used and studied in Europe. In a group of 60 patients with 1-year data, the stent reduced IOP by about 40%, Dr. Varma said.

    The preoperative average IOP was 22 mm Hg, and patients were on three medications. The average patient age was 64.2 years old.

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    The prospective, nonrandomized, multicenter study included patients with primary open-angle glaucoma, pigmentary glaucoma, and pseudoexfoliation. Patients with primary angle-closure glaucoma and uveitic eyes were excluded. About one-third of patients had a previous trabeculectomy or selective laser trabeculoplasty.

    At 1 year, the average IOP was 12.9 mm Hg, and patients were on only one medication.

    “So, you do need a medication, just as you do with other glaucoma implants to keep the IOP under control,” he said.

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    One patient had an extension of the needle used through the conjunctiva, so the stent had to be implanted into another quadrant, Dr. Varma said.

    The only other issue was that 9.5% of patients required needling, especially if they had scarring.

    “Overall, it’s a safe procedure and very efficacious (40% reduction of IOP),” he said. “The most common issue is one needs to needle the bleb in less than 10% of eyes.”

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