In the absence of prophylactic anti-inflammatory therapy, anterior chamber inflammation (characterized by cells and less commonly flare) is minimal and transient after selective laser trabeculoplasty in Afro-Caribbean glaucoma patients.
The purpose of this study was to characterize the prevalence, severity, and duration of anterior chamber inflammation (cells and flare) following selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) in Afro-Caribbean eyes with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).
In total 144 eyes of 72 POAG patients underwent first-time 360-degree SLT treatment following washout of all topical medications in the prospective West Indies Glaucoma Laser Study. No anti-inflammatory therapy was used post-SLT. Anterior chamber cells and flare were characterized pre-SLT after medication washout, and 1 week, 6 weeks, and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post-SLT using the standardized methodology described by the Society for Uveitis Nomenclature (SUN) in which cells and flare are each graded on a scale of 0-4+ using specific slit-lamp settings.
Mean cell scores in both right and left eyes rose significantly (P<0.0001) from baseline to week 1 after SLT before returning to baseline values at all subsequent time points. Mean flare scores in right eyes (P=0.0185) but not left eyes (P=0.1816) rose from baseline to week 1 after SLT before returning to baseline values at all subsequent time points. Cells appeared in 40.3% of eyes and flare appeared in 9.7% of eyes after SLT. One subject developed bilateral symptomatic anterior iritis one day postoperatively and reported a previously undisclosed history of recurrent iritis; the iritis resolved with topical steroid therapy.
SLT in Afro-Caribbean people with POAG is associated with mild, short-lived and self-limited anterior chamber inflammation. Routine anti-inflammatory therapy to suppress posttreatment inflammation after SLT is unnecessary in this population.