Hypotony Failure Criteria in Glaucoma Surgical Studies and Their Influence on Surgery Success
March 14, 2024

Hypotony Failure Criteria in Glaucoma Surgical Studies and Their Influence on Surgery Success

PURPOSE: Review hypotony failure criteria used in glaucoma surgical outcome studies and evaluate their impact on success rates.

DESIGN: Systematic literature review and application of hypotony failure criteria to 2 retrospective cohorts.

METHODS:Literature-based hypotony failure criteria were applied to patient cohorts. Intraocular pressure (IOP)-related success was defined as follows: (A) IOP < 21 mmHg with > 20% IOP reduction; (B) IOP < 18 mmHg with > 20% reduction; (C) IOP < 15 mmHg with > 25% reduction; and (D) IOP < 12 mmHg with > 30% reduction. Failure was defined as IOP exceeding these criteria in 2 consecutive visits > 3 months after surgery, loss of light perception, additional IOP-lowering surgery, or hypotony. Cox regression estimated failure risk for different hypotony criteria, using no hypotony as a reference. Analyses were conducted for each criterion and hypotony type (i.e., numerical [IOP threshold], clinical [clinical manifestations], and mixed [combination of numerical or clinical criteria]).

RESULTS: Of 2503 studies found, 278 were eligible, with 99 studies (35.6%) lacking hypotony failure criteria. Numerical hypotony was predominant (157 studies [56.5%]). Few studies used clinical hypotony (3 isolated [1.1%]; 19 combined with low IOP [6.8%]). Forty-nine different criteria were found, with IOP < 6 mmHg, IOP < 6 mmHg on  2 consecutive visits after 3 months, and IOP < 5 mmHg being the most common (41 [14.7%], 38 [13.7%], and 13 [4.7%] studies, respectively). In both cohorts, numerical hypotony posed the highest risk of failure (HR, 1.51e1.21 for criteria A to D; P < 0.001), followed by mixed hypotony (HR, 1.41e1.20 for criteria A to D; P < 0.001), and clinical hypotony (HR, 1.12e1.04; P < 0.001). Failure risk varied greatly with various hypotony definitions, with the HR ranging from 1.02 to 10.79 for trabeculectomy and 1.00 to 8.36 for DS.

CONCLUSIONS: Hypotony failure criteria are highly heterogenous in the glaucoma literature, with few studies focusing on clinical manifestations. Numerical hypotony yields higher failure rates than clinical hypotony and can underestimate glaucoma surgery success rates. Standardizing failure criteria with an emphasis on clinically relevant hypotony manifestations is needed.

Authors: Alessandro Rabiolo, MD, Giacinto Triolo, MD, Daniela Khaliliyeh, MD, Sang Wook Jin, MD, Esteban Morales, MS, Alessandro Ghirardi, Nitin Anand, MD, FRCOphth, Giovanni Montesano, MD, Gianni Virgili, MD, Joseph Caprioli, MD, Stefano De Cillà, MD.

NGP Papers manager: Carlo Cutolo