Study comparing SLT to eye drops publishes six-year results

Clinical effectiveness and quality of life assessed in patients who receive selective laser trabeculoplasty and pressure-lowering drops

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Pixabay/Sabine van Erp

The Laser in Glaucoma and Ocular Hypertension (LiGHT) Trial has published six-year results comparing selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) and eye drops as a treatment for open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

The research, which was published in Ophthalmology, explored the health-related quality of life and clinical effectiveness of treatment with SLT and intraocular pressure lowering eye drops after six years of treatment.

Previously, three-year results from the trial concluded that SLT was a clinically effective and cost effective treatment for open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

This year, updated National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines recommended that newly diagnosed patients with glaucoma and ocular hypertension should be offered SLT.

Of the 692 patients who completed the initial three years of the LiGHT trial, 524 patients completed six years in the trial.

At the six-year mark, no significant differences were found in health-related quality of life between those who received eye drops and those who were treated with SLT.

Among those treated with SLT, 69.8% remained at or less than the target IOP without the need for medical or surgical treatment.

A greater proportion of those who received drops experienced disease progression (26.8%) compared to those treated with SLT (19.6%).

Trabeculectomy was required in 32 patients in the drops cohort compared with 13 patients in the SLT group.

More cataract surgeries occurred in those receiving drops (95) compared to those treated with SLT (57).

The researchers concluded that SLT is a safe treatment for open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension, providing better long-term disease control than eye drops.