Investigators found that selective laser trabeculoplasty was not superior to topical medication in maintaining quality of life outcomes when used as first-line therapy for glaucoma.
While SLT resulted in a significantly better social well-being domain, no differences were seen in any of the other quality of life (QoL) domains, in an international, longitudinal, multisite randomized, controlled study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
“We found a lack of evidence overall to support our hypothesis that patients undergoing SLT would report improved QoL at follow-up compared with those in the medication group,” Ghee Soon Ang, MD, researcher at the Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore National Eye Centre in Singapore, and colleagues wrote.
Researchers studied 167 glaucoma patients and randomly chose who would receive SLT or topical medication. Glaucoma-specific QoL, IOP reduction and presence of any ocular diseases were evaluated in each patient.
They found that at 24 months, patients who underwent SLTv reported a greater improvement in “social well-being” compared to patients undergoing treatment with medication. The clinical target of 25% IOP reduction was shown to be higher in the medication group. Results found that patients in the medication-treated group had higher risk for conjunctival hyperemia and eyelid erythema compared with the SLT treated group.
“While our results suggest that SLT does not offer any advantages over topical medication from the patient’s perspective, larger [randomized controlled trials] or meta-analyses are needed to verify our results,” Ang and colleagues wrote.
According to the study, medication appears to have a better efficacy to achieve the clinical target reduction in IOP in treatment of mild-to-moderate primary open angle glaucoma and exfoliation glaucoma, but to definitively verify these results a larger patient study is required. – by Erin T. Welsh
Disclosure: Ang reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.