Purpose: Rigorous clinical testing has established that Schlemm’s canal cross-sectional area (SC-CSA) is reduced in glaucomatous eyes. However, to date, it is unclear whether trabecular bypass procedures impact the morphology of the proximal aqueous outflow tract, or if the introduction of a local region of low outflow resistance adversely affects SC-CSA elsewhere, specifically presenting as SC diminution. This study quantifies changes in the morphology of the distal outflow pathway after iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass stent (Glaukos Corp, Laguna Hills, CA, USA) implantation in living eyes by anterior segment optical coherence tomography (OCT).
Design: This was a prospective observational study.
Subjects: This study included six patients (eight eyes) with primary-open angle glaucoma.
Methods: Patients underwent iStent placement in the nasal anterior chamber angle quadrant. OCT imaging was obtained of both nasal and temporal eye quadrants before and after surgery. For each SC parameter, an average of ten consecutive, evenly spaced measurements were manually obtained over a 1 mm segment of SC on FIJI ImageJ. Linear mixed effects modeling quantified the effect of the iStent on these parameters.
Main outcome measures: Main outcome measures were changes in SC-CSA, inner-to-outer wall distance (IOD), and trabecular meshwork (TM) thickness following iStent placement.
Results: Following iStent placement, total SC-CSA increased an average of 1,039.12 μm2 (P = 0.05). Individually, there were no significant changes in SC-CSA in the nasal or temporal quadrants. Total SC-IOD and nasal SC-IOD increased an average of 2.35 μm (P = 0.01) and 2.96 μm (P = 0.04), respectively. There were no significant changes in temporal quadrant SC-IOD. There were no significant changes in TM thickness in either quadrant.
Conclusions: Implantation of the iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass stent significantly increases SC-IOD in the nasal quadrant at the location of implant, with no evidence of SC diminution in the temporal quadrant. It remains unclear how these observations relate to the surgical efficacy of trabecular bypass procedures.