BACKGROUND: The only widely accepted, effective treatment for open-angle glaucoma (OAG) is to reduce the intraocular pressure (IOP), with medical therapy being the typical first-line therapy. Notably, an alternative therapy is selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), which is safe and effective in lowering the IOP. Nonetheless, whether SLT could replace medication as the first-line therapy for OAG is still under debate. METHODS: Studies involving randomised controlled trials conducted before August 2019 that compared the efficacy of SLT-related and medication-only treatments for OAG were selected from PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library and Web of Science. Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) methodology was employed to rate the quality of the body of evidence. RESULTS: 1229 patients in eight trials were included. The overall results revealed no significant differences between SLT-related and medication-only treatments regarding the IOP reduction (mean difference (MD): 0.18, 95% CI -0.72 to 1.07, p=0.70, I=73%) and the success rate of IOP control (risk ratio: 1.02, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.04, p=0.74, I=0%). The SLT-related therapy group required significantly fewer medications compared with the medication-only group (MD: -1.06, 95% CI -1.16 to -0.96, p<0.0000, I=5%). A quantitative analysis was not performed concerning adverse events and quality of life because of the limited data available. CONCLUSION: SLT is safe and has a lower incidence of ocular side effects. SLT can be the choice of first-line therapy for OAG. However, clinicians should consider the cost-effectiveness, as well as the patient's characteristics, before deciding on the therapeutic option.
Ophthalmology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.Full article
12.4 Laser trabeculoplasty and other laser treatment of the angle (Part of: 12 Surgical treatment)