Immediate argon laser peripheral iridoplasty (ALPI) as initial treatment for acute phacomorphic angle-closure (phacomorphic glaucoma) before cataract extraction: a preliminary study

C C Y Tham, J S M Lai, A S Y Poon, J C H Chan, S W Lam, J K H Chua, D S C Lam
Eye 2005, 19 (7): 778-83

PURPOSE: To study the safety and efficacy of immediate argon laser peripheral iridoplasty (ALPI) as initial treatment of acute phacomorphic angle-closure (phacomorphic glaucoma) before cataract extraction.

METHODS: In all, 10 consecutive patients with acute phacomorphic angle-closure and intraocular pressure (IOP) > or =40 mmHg were recruited into the study. Each patient received topical atropine (1%) and timolol (0.5%), and immediate ALPI as initial treatment. The IOP at 15, 30, 60, and 120 min, and then 1 day, after ALPI were documented by applanation tonometry. Systemic IOP-lowering drugs were only started if IOP remained above 40 mmHg at 2 h after ALPI. Cataract extraction was subsequently performed as definitive treatment.

RESULTS: In total, 10 patients (five male, five female), with a mean age+/-SD of 73.1+/-10.3 years were recruited. Mean duration of symptomatic attack was 128+/-232 h. After ALPI, the mean IOP was reduced from 56.1+/-12.5 to 45.3+/-14.5 mmHg at 15 min, 37.6+/-7.5 mmHg at 30 min, 34.2+/-9.7 mmHg at 60 min, 25.5+/-8.7 mmHg at 120 min, and 13.6+/-4.2 mmHg at 1 day. In one patient, systemic acetazolamide was administered, because the IOP remained above 40 mmHg at 2 h after ALPI. All 10 patients had uncomplicated cataract extraction performed within 4 days after ALPI. No complications from the laser procedure were encountered.

CONCLUSION: Immediate ALPI, replacing systemic antiglaucomatous medications, appeared to be safe and effective as first-line treatment of acute phacomorphic angle-closure.

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