OBJECTIVE: This study compared surgical outcomes between free plate Ahmed glaucoma valve (FPAGV) implantation without plate fixation and conventional Ahmed glaucoma valve (CAGV) implantation with plate fixation. METHODS: A retrospective, comparative case series study. Patients with refractory glaucoma who underwent FPAGV or CAGV implantation and were followed >1 year were enrolled consecutively. We reviewed medical records, including data on postoperative intraocular pressure (IOP) and postoperative complications. The success rate and early postoperative hypertensive phase were compared between groups. RESULTS: A total of 74 patients with CAGV implantations and 36 patients with FPAGV implantations were studied. The average follow-up periods were 23.3 ± 2.6 months (CAGV) and 22.8 ± 2.8 months (FPAGV; p = 0.424). The surgery time was significantly shorter in the FPAGV group than in the CAGV group (42.6 ± 4.1 vs. 47.3 ± 5.4 min; p < 0.001). Postoperative IOP at 1 week and 1 month were significantly lower in the FPAGV group than in the CAGV group (11.8 ± 3.6 and 14.0 ± 5.3 mmHg vs. 18.7 ± 5.5 and 22.2 ± 5.2 mmHg; p = 0.012 and p = 0.002, respectively). An early postoperative hypertensive phase occurred in 62 eyes, and the frequency was greater in the CAGV group (50 eyes) than the FPAGV group (12 eyes; p = 0.001). There was no significant difference in postoperative complications between the two groups (p = 0.735). The success rate was 84.2% in the FPAGV group and 80.6% in the CAGV group 24 months after surgery (p = 0.367). CONCLUSION: FPAGV implantation was associated with a shorter surgery time, without any change in the extent of IOP reduction or complication rate. This procedure may be considered a good alternative for CAGV implantation in patients with refractory glaucoma.
Department of Ophthalmology, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.