Intra-operative mitomycin C for glaucoma surgery

M Wilkins, A Indar, R Wormald
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2001, (1): CD002897

BACKGROUND: Trabeculectomy is performed as a treatment for many types of glaucoma in an attempt to lower the intra-ocular pressure. Mitomycin C is an antimetabolite applied between the sclera and conjunctiva during the initial stages of a trabeculectomy to prevent excessive post-operative scarring and thus reduce the risk of failure.

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this review is to assess the effects of intra-operative application of mitomycin C in eyes of people undergoing trabeculectomy.

SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group specialised register, The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register - CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE and the reference lists of relevant articles. We used the Science Citation Index to search for articles that cited the included studies. We contacted investigators and experts for details of additional relevant trials.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomised trials of intra-operative mitomycin C compared to placebo in trabeculectomy.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two reviewers independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. We contacted trial investigators for missing information. Data were summarised using relative risk, odds ratio and weighted mean difference.

MAIN RESULTS: This review includes 11 trials involving a total of 698 participants. The trials included three types of participants (those at high risk of failure, those undergoing trabeculectomy combined with cataract surgery, and those with no previous surgical intervention). Mitomycin C appears to be effective in reducing the relative risk of failure of trabeculectomy both in eyes at high risk of failure (relative risk 0.32, 95% confidence interval 0.20 to 0.53) and those undergoing surgery for the first time (relative risk 0.29, 95% confidence interval 0.16 to 0.53). No significant effect on failure was noted in the group undergoing trabeculectomy combined with cataract extraction. Mean intra-ocular pressure was significantly reduced at 12 months in all three participant groups receiving mitomycin C compared to placebo. No significant increase in permanent sight threatening complications was detected. Some evidence exists that mitomycin C increases the risk of cataract. The quality of trial reporting is poor in eight trials. Repeat analysis with three trials rated as low risk of bias did not yield different results.

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: Intra-operative mitomycin C reduces the risk of surgical failure in eyes that have undergone no previous surgery and in eyes at high risk of failure. Compared to placebo it reduces mean intra-ocular pressure at 12 months in all groups of participants in this review. Apart from an increase in cataract formation following mitomycin C, no demonstrable significant increase in other side effects was detected.

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