This study investigated the initial feasibility of using femtosecond laser trabeculotomy (FLT) to create open channels through the trabecular meshwork into Schlemm’s canal to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) in a perfused anterior segment model.
Human anterior segments (12 eyes) were assigned to either treatment (n = 6) or sham treatment (n = 6) groups. Both groups were perfused until a baseline IOP was recorded upon which a direct FLT treatment or a sham treatment was administered. IOP was recorded before and after the treatment. Spectral domain optical coherence tomography and second harmonic generation imaging we used to investigate the FLT channels.
In the FLT group, there was a significant mean decrease in the IOP of 22% compared with the pre-FLT IOP (7.13 ± 2.95 mm Hg to 5.34 ± 1.62 mm Hg; P < 0.05). In the control group, the post-sham IOP remained relatively unchanged compared with the pre-sham IOP (6.39 ± 3.69 mm Hg to 6.67 ± 4.12 mm Hg).
The results of this study indicate that FLT treatment can significantly decrease the IOP in a perfusion model and may provide a potential noninvasive treatment option for primary open angle glaucoma.
Investigating the use of femtosecond lasers for photodisrupting the trabecular meshwork can lead to a clinically relevant alternative to current glaucoma procedures.