Mechanism of action of selective laser trabeculoplasty and predictors of response

Vikas Gulati, Shan Fan, Bret J. Gardner, Shane J. Havens, Marie T. Schaaf, Donna G. Neely, Carol B. Toris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. This study was designed to evaluate the changes in aqueous humor dynamics (AHD) produced by selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) and to explore if baseline AHD parameters are predictive of IOP response to SLT. METHODS. Thirty-one consecutive subjects diagnosed with ocular hypertension or primary open-angle glaucoma scheduled to undergo SLT as their primary IOP-lowering therapy were enrolled in this prospective observational study. Subjects underwent baseline assessment of AHD in both eyes. Variables assessed were IOPs at 9 AM and noon, aqueous humor flow rate (fluorophotometry), episcleral venous pressure (EVP, venomanometry), outflow facility (pneumatonography and fluorophotometry) and uveoscleral outflow (calculated using modified Goldmann equation). All subjects underwent 360 degrees SLT and AHD measurements were repeated 3 months later. RESULTS. Compared with baseline, IOPs after SLT were significantly lower at 9 AM (22.9 ± 5.1 vs. 19.7 ± 3.0 mm Hg; P = 0.001) and noon (23.4 ± 4.6 vs. 20.0 ± 3.5 mm Hg; P < 0.001). Outflow facility by fluorophotometry was significantly increased from 0.17 ± 0.11 μL/min/ mm Hg at baseline to 0.24 ± 0.14 μL/min/mm Hg at 3 months (P = 0.008). Outflow facility by tonography (baseline: 0.16 ± 0.07 μL/min/mm Hg vs. 3 months: 0.22 ± 0.16 μL/min/mm Hg; P = 0.046) was similarly increased. No change in aqueous flow or EVP was observed. There were no changes in IOP or AHD in the contralateral untreated eye. Using multiple linear regression models, higher baseline aqueous flow, lower baseline outflow facility, and possibly lower uvescleral outflow were associated with more IOP lowering with SLT. CONCLUSIONS. The IOP-lowering effect of SLT is mediated through an increase in outflow facility. There is no contralateral effect. Higher aqueous flow and lower outflow facility may be predictive of better response to SLT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1462-1468
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2017


  • Aqueous flow
  • Glaucoma laser
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Laser trabeculoplasty
  • Trabecular meshwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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