The influence of etiology on surgical outcomes in neovascular glaucoma

Charles M. Medert, Catherine Q. Sun, Elizabeth Vanner, Richard K. Parrish, Sarah R. Wellik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The authors sought to evaluate visual outcomes in patients with varying etiologies of neovascular glaucoma (NVG), who were treated with glaucoma drainage devices (GDD). Methods: This was a retrospective case series of patients at a large academic teaching institution who had surgical intervention for neovascular glaucoma between September 2011 and May 2019. Eyes were included if there was documented neovascularization of the iris/angle with an intraocular pressure (IOP) > 21 mmHg at presentation. Eyes must also have been treated with surgical intervention that included a GDD. Primary outcome measure was visual acuity at the 1-year post-operative visit. Secondary outcome measure was qualified success after surgery defined by: pressure criteria (5 mmHg < IOP ≤ 21 mmHg), no re-operation for elevated IOP, and no loss of LP vision. Results: One hundred twenty eyes met inclusion criteria. 61.7% had an etiology of proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), 23.3% had retinal vein occlusions (RVO), and the remaining 15.0% suffered from other etiologies. Of patients treated with GDD, eyes with PDR had better vision compared to eyes with RVO at final evaluation (p = 0.041). There was a statistically significant difference (p = 0.027) in the mean number of glaucoma medications with Ahmed eyes (n = 70) requiring 1.9 medications and Baerveldt eyes (n = 46) requiring 1.3 medications at final evaluation. Conclusions: In our study, many patients with NVG achieved meaningful vision, as defined by World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, and IOP control after GDD. Outcomes differed between patients with PDR and RVO in favor of the PDR group. Different GDD devices had similar performance profiles for VA and IOP outcomes. Direct prospective comparison of Baerveldt, Ahmed, and cyclophotocoagulation represents the next phase of discovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number440
JournalBMC ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Neovascular
  • Outcomes
  • Surgery
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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