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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 292-294

Intracameral viscoelastic treatment for hypotony after glaucoma incisional surgery

Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey, USA

Date of Submission19-Mar-2018
Date of Acceptance28-Aug-2018
Date of Web Publication13-Dec-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Albert S Khouri
Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, 90 Bergen Street, Suite 6100, Newark, New Jersey 07103
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tjo.tjo_31_18

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We report on a minimally invasive treatment of symptomatic hypotony after glaucoma surgery. Hypotony after incisional glaucoma surgery can have severe visual consequences. Refractory symptomatic hypotony often requires surgical intervention to prevent further vision loss. The clinical records of four patients in this interventional case series with symptomatic hypotony and choroidal detachments after incisional glaucoma surgery between 2013 and 2014 were reviewed. Observations were made as the cases progressed. Visual obscuration secondary to refractory hypotony was treated with an intracameral injection of high-molecular-weight ocular viscoelastic devices (HMWOVD). Postinjection, mean intraocular pressure improved from a baseline of 3.6 mm Hg to 24.0, 15.5, and 9 mm Hg at 1 day, 1 month, and 6 months' post-intervention, respectively. The mean visual acuity after injection improved from 20/274 to 20/83 at 6 months. Choroidal detachments resolved within 1 week in all patients. Intracameral HMWOVD for the treatment of symptomatic hypotony post-incisional glaucoma surgery is minimally invasive, avoided reoperation, and led to quick visual recovery.

Keywords: Case series, glaucoma, hypotony, intraocular pressure, viscoelastic

How to cite this article:
Xia T, Khouri AS. Intracameral viscoelastic treatment for hypotony after glaucoma incisional surgery. Taiwan J Ophthalmol 2019;9:292-4

How to cite this URL:
Xia T, Khouri AS. Intracameral viscoelastic treatment for hypotony after glaucoma incisional surgery. Taiwan J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Jul 25];9:292-4. Available from: https://www.e-tjo.org/text.asp?2019/9/4/292/246003

  Introduction Top

Hypotony, intraocular pressure (IOP) below 5 mmHg, is not uncommon after incisional glaucoma surgery. The prevalence ranges from 15% to 32.7% after trabeculectomy with mitomycin (MMC) and 12%–89% after aqueous shunts.[1] Chronic hypotony, self-irreversible after 4 weeks, is associated with accelerated cataract formation, choroidal detachments (CDs), hypotony maculopathy, expulsive, and delayed suprachoroidal hemorrhages.[1],[2],[3] Surgical revision to reverse the glaucoma surgery and limit outflow may become necessary in hypotony patients with compromised vision.

High-molecular-weight ocular viscoelastic devices (HMWOVD) have the side effect of transient increase in IOP.[4],[5],[6] Herein, we report a series of four patients with symptomatic hypotony after incisional glaucoma surgery where we describe the use of intracameral HMWOVD as a minimally invasive treatment.

  Case Reports Top

Case 1

After trabeculectomy with MMC, an 82-year-old female developed hypotony with decreased visual acuity (VA) from 20/40 to 20/80 and symptomatic peripheral visual field defects due to large CD. The large CD completely resolved on postoperative day (PD) 97 when intracameral HMWOVD was performed. Postinjection (PI) VA and IOP improved with complete CD resolution on PI day 1.

Case 2

An 81-year-old male underwent Ahmed glaucoma tube shunt with suture ligature. Hypotony on PD 1 lead to worsening VA from 20/40 to counting fingers and the development of large CD. The patient was symptomatic until HMWOVD was performed on PD 7. VA and IOP improved and the CD completely resolved by PI day 7.

Case 3

After a Baerveldt tube shunt insertion with lumen stenting and suture ligature, an 86-year-old female developed hypotony with worsening VA from 20/25 to 20/70 and large CD [Figure 1]a which persisted for 6 weeks. On PD 133, intracameral HMWOVD was injected with complete resolution of the CD on PI day 1 [Figure 1]b.
Figure 1: Fundus imaging of choroidal detachment (a) and its resolution (b)

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Case 4

A 90-year-old male developed hypotony after an Ahmed tube shunt insertion to the left eye with worsening VA to the hand motions on PD 3. HMWOVD was injected on PD 5, with complete resolution of CD on PI day 1.

[Table 1] summarizes the patient characteristics, and the VA and IOP at various time points PI. All eyes on PI day one had IOP >10 mmHg. At week 1, one eye had hypotony (5 mmHg) but did not have a recurrent CD. At final follow-up 6 months later, two eyes had hypotony (5 mmHg) but did not have a recurrent CD either. VA was stable or improved with the resolution of CD in all subjects.
Table 1: Patient characteristics, intraocular pressure, and visual acuity

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Intracameral HMWOVD was performed after patients' failed conservative management with topical steroids and cycloplegia. All eyes received standard medical therapy which included topical steroids and cycloplegia when the clinician suspected that intraocular inflammation might have been contributing to the hypotony. The doses used were commensurate with the inflammation and did not include an increasing dosing regimen of topical steroids. Written informed consent was obtained. The patients were prepped with betadine for sterile intraocular surgery and were given tetracaine 0.5% and lidocaine 2% gel for topical anesthesia. A 15° side port blade was used to perform a paracentesis temporally. HMWOVD was injected into the anterior chamber to achieve about a 50% fill. Healon 5 (cases 1 and 3) and Healon GV (cases 2 and 4) (sodium hyaluronate 2.3% and 1.4%, respectively, Abbott Medical Optics, Santa Ana, CA) were used. Topical antibiotics were given postoperatively for 1 week.

  Discussion Top

Hypotony due to overfiltration can be associated with maculopathy and CD leading to serious visual consequences.[7] Prevention measures include tight suturing of a trabeculectomy scleral flap with subsequent laser suture lysis and stenting and ligating sutures for tube shunts.[8] Such measures reduce the likelihood of hypotony but do not eliminate it. The treatment of hypotony can be challenging and often requires surgery to reverse the overfiltration by resuturing the trabeculectomy scleral flap, or in the case of tube shunts tying off, restenting, or even shunt removal.[7],[8] In this series, intracameral HMWOVD successfully improved symptomatic hypotony and avoided incisional surgical revision.

In this case series, we found the complete resolution of CD immediately after intracameral injection. VA improved in all cases with an overall mean Snellen VA of 20/83 at the final visit. All eyes had an immediate IOP increase on PI day 1, and all eyes except one had a resolution of hypotony by PI week 1 and final visit. Altangerel et al. found that IOP and VA improved within 2 weeks after performing a similar intervention using only Healon 5. Nonetheless, their endpoint IOP at 4–6 weeks was lower (6.50 ± 2.24 mmHg), and improvements in VA were small yet significant.[9] In our series, we monitored the resolution of CD with B scan ultrasound and fundus imaging up to 6 months. Intraoperative and PI complications did not occur and a return to the operating room for revision of the original procedure was avoided in all eyes. No eyes required repeated intracameral HMWOVD injection or had a recurrence of symptomatic hypotony.

We used Healon 5 (4 × 106 Daltons, 7 × 106 mPas) and Healon GV (5 × 106 Daltons, 2 × 106 mPas) with the first having higher viscosity but lower molecular weight.[4] Viscoelastic devices have been proposed to block the trabecular meshwork, close ciliary body detachment,[10] and interrupt the cycle of hypotony and choroidal effusion.[10],[11] HMWOVD may also increase the viscosity of the aqueous humor and slow the rate of filtration through a tube shunt or a sclerotomy. Among our patients, the eyes receiving Healon GV had an earlier intervention and seemed to have a more sustained elevation in IOP. We believe that the immediate rise in IOP noted with the use of intracameral HMWOVD contributed to the interruption of hypotony that lead to CD and hypotony maculopathy. In addition, in the eyes with repeat hypotony at PI week 1 or later, none had developed visual deteriorations with the low IOP. We recommend the injection of intracameral HMWOVD when VA worsens and/or there are persistent CD or worsening detachments that may affect VA or threaten retinal adhesions. Other HMWOVD with differing viscosities and molecular weights can be investigated in a larger series to study the optimal HMWOVD and amount needed to treat hypotony in this setting.

  Conclusion Top

In our patients, intracameral HMWOVD for symptomatic hypotony and CD after incisional glaucoma surgery improved IOP and VA. It was an effective and minimally invasive rescue technique.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patients have given their consent for their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interests of this paper.

  References Top

Schubert HD. Postsurgical hypotony: Relationship to fistulization, inflammation, chorioretinal lesions, and the vitreous. Surv Ophthalmol 1996;41:97-125.  Back to cited text no. 1
Chu TG, Green RL. Suprachoroidal hemorrhage. Surv Ophthalmol 1999;43:471-86.  Back to cited text no. 2
Tuli SS, WuDunn D, Ciulla TA, Cantor LB. Delayed suprachoroidal hemorrhage after glaucoma filtration procedures. Ophthalmology 2001;108:1808-11.  Back to cited text no. 3
Raitta C, Lehto I, Puska P, Vesti E, Harju M. A randomized, prospective study on the use of sodium hyaluronate (Healon) in trabeculectomy. Ophthalmic Surg 1994;25:536-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
Arshinoff SA, Albiani DA, Taylor-Laporte J. Intraocular pressure after bilateral cataract surgery using healon, healon5, and healon GV. J Cataract Refract Surg 2002;28:617-25.  Back to cited text no. 5
Higashide T, Sugiyama K. Use of viscoelastic substance in ophthalmic surgery – Focus on sodium hyaluronate. Clin Ophthalmol 2008;2:21-30.  Back to cited text no. 6
Haynes WL, Alward WL. Control of intraocular pressure after trabeculectomy. Surv Ophthalmol 1999;43:345-55.  Back to cited text no. 7
Sarkisian SR Jr. Tube shunt complications and their prevention. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2009;20:126-30.  Back to cited text no. 8
Altangerel U, Rai S, Fontanarosa J, Moster MR. Intracameral 2.3% sodium hyaluronate to treat postoperative hypotony in patients with glaucoma. Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging 2006;37:106-11.  Back to cited text no. 9
Tosi GM, Schiff W, Barile G, Yoshida N, Chang S. Management of severe hypotony with intravitreal injection of viscoelastic. Am J Ophthalmol 2005;140:952-4.  Back to cited text no. 10
Salvo EC Jr., Luntz MH, Medow NB. Use of viscoelastics post-trabeculectomy: A survey of members of the American Glaucoma Society. Ophthalmic Surg Lasers 1999;30:271-5.  Back to cited text no. 11


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1]


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