Outcomes of severe uveitic glaucoma treated with Baerveldt implant: can blindness be prevented?

A.N. Tan, M.F. Cornelissen, C.A.B. Webers, R.J. Erckens, T.T.J.M. Berendschot, H.J.M. Beckers

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To evaluate long-term outcomes on efficacy and safety of severe uveitic glaucoma treated with a Baerveldt glaucoma implant (BGI).
A retrospective study of 47 eyes of 47 patients with uveitic glaucoma treated by a BGI between September 2002 and September 2015. Main outcome measures were intraocular pressure (IOP), number of glaucoma medications, course of the uveitis, visual acuity (VA) and complications.
Mean IOP dropped from 30.6 ± 8.1 mmHg with 3.6 ± 1.1 glaucoma medications at baseline to 10.6 ± 4.3 mmHg with 1.0 ± 1.3 glaucoma medications after a mean follow-up of 63.6 ± 43.1 months. In the majority of cases, IOP remained stable during follow-up. However, especially in several patients with viral uveitis, episodes with IOP peaks were observed during a flare-up despite a functioning implant. These peaks remained below preoperative levels. During follow-up, 16 patients (34%) experienced a clinically significant VA loss, mainly because of late-stage glaucoma or hypotony maculopathy. Early postoperative complications were transient choroidal effusion (n = 5), shallow/flat anterior chamber (n = 4), hyphaema (n = 2) and suprachoroidal haemorrhage (n = 1). The most important late postoperative complication was hypotony maculopathy (n = 5), three of these in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) patients.
The BGI is an effective and safe treatment for patients with refractive secondary glaucoma due to uveitis. In a majority of patients, VA remains stable and a low and stable IOP is maintained over time with an acceptable number of complications. In particular, patients with viral uveitis and glaucoma should be closely monitored for IOP peaks that may occur during episodes of a flare-up of uveitis, whereas at the other end of the spectrum, patients with JIA seem much more prone to hypotony maculopathy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Baerveldt glaucoma implant
  • glaucoma
  • intraocular pressure
  • uveitic glaucoma
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Glaucoma/etiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Uveitis/complications
  • Glaucoma Drainage Implants
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity
  • Young Adult
  • Intraocular Pressure/physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Adolescent
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Retrospective Studies


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