To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate effectiveness and complication rates of resident-performed selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT).
To evaluate the effectiveness and complications of SLT performed by resident ophthalmologists and to identify predictors for success.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Retrospective case series of 81 patients with open-angle glaucoma undergoing 110 SLT procedures from November 17, 2009, through December 16, 2011, at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Intraocular pressure (IOP) reduction. Secondary outcomes included change in eyedrop medications, complication rates, and predictors of SLT success defined as a 20% reduction in IOP.
The mean IOP at baseline, defined as the average IOP of the 2 appointments prior to the SLT procedure, was 18.7 mm Hg. The mean decrease in postoperative IOP compared with baseline was 2.2 mm Hg (12%; 95% CI, 5%-19%) at 12 months and 3.3 mm Hg (18%; 95% CI, 13%-23%), 2.8 mm Hg (15%; 95% CI, 10%-21%), and 3.6 mm Hg (19%; 95% CI, 11%-27%) at 3, 6, and 24 months, respectively (all P < .001, linear mixed-effects regression). Success rates were 36% (95% CI, 27%-47%) at 12 months and 41% (95% CI, 31%-53%), 50% (95% CI, 40%-60%), and 39% (95% CI, 26%-53%) at 3, 6, and 24 months, respectively. The most common complication was a temporary IOP spike, with increases of at least 6 mm Hg occurring in 7% (95% CI, 4%-14%) of the population. The largest IOP spike was 11 mm Hg. Increased number of laser shots performed was not associated with better IOP control but was associated with a reduction in number of eyedrop medications (P = .02). Increased baseline IOP was associated with an odds ratio for success of 1.24 (95% CI, 1.08-1.44) at 3 months, 1.20 (95% CI, 1.05-1.37) at 6 months, and 1.31 (95% CI, 1.13-1.53) at 12 months of follow-up (P = .003, P = .006, and P < .001, respectively, logistic regression). In a multivariate analysis, baseline IOP remained the greatest predictor of effectiveness.
Conclusions and Relevance
Resident-performed SLT obtains outcomes similar to the IOP reduction reported in the literature for attending-performed SLT with low levels of complications. Increasing the number of shots in a treatment session may lead to less long-term need for eyedrop medications. In this patient group, higher baseline IOP was the strongest predictor of treatment effectiveness.