Indexed on: 28 May '19Published on: 29 Mar '19Published in: The Cochrane database of systematic reviews
Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. In early stages, glaucoma results in progressive loss of peripheral (side) vision; in later stages, it results in loss of central vision leading to blindness. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is the only known modifiable risk factor for glaucoma. Minimally invasive glaucoma surgical (MIGS) techniques, such as ab interno trabecular bypass surgery with iStent (Glaukos Corporation, Laguna Hills, CA, USA), have been introduced as a new treatment modality for glaucoma. However, the effectiveness of MIGS on keeping people 'drop-free' (i.e. not having to use eye drops to control IOP) and other outcomes is uncertain. To assess the effectiveness and safety of ab interno trabecular bypass surgery with iStent (or iStent inject) for open-angle glaucoma in comparison to conventional medical, laser, or surgical treatment. Cochrane Eyes and Vision's Information Specialist searched the following databases on 17 August 2018: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Trials Register; 2018, Issue 7), MEDLINE Ovid, Embase Ovid, the ISRCTN registry, ClinicalTrials.gov, and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP). We applied no date or language restrictions. We searched the reference lists of reports from included studies. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that had compared iStent or iStent inject to medical therapy, laser treatment, conventional glaucoma surgery (trabeculectomy), or other MIGS procedures. We included RCTs that had compared iStent or iStent inject in combination with phacoemulsification to phacoemulsification alone. We used standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. Two review authors independently screened search results, assessed risk of bias, and extracted data from reports of included RCTs using an electronic data collection form. We included seven RCTs (765 eyes of 764 participants; range per study 33 to 239 participants) that evaluated iStent in people with open-angle glaucoma. We also identified 13 studies that are ongoing or awaiting publications of results. Most participants in the included studies were women (417/764 (55%) participants) and older age (age range: 49 to 89 years). We assessed most trials at unclear or high risk of bias: four trials did not clearly report the method of generating the random sequence or concealing allocation; five were unmasked, open-label studies, which we assessed at high risk of bias for performance and detection bias. All seven trials were funded by the Glaukos Corporation. We graded the certainty of evidence as very low.Four RCTs compared iStent in combination with phacoemulsification to phacoemulsification alone. The summary estimate which we derived from two of the four RCTs suggested that participants in the iStent in combination with phacoemulsification group were 1.38 times more likely to be drop-free between six and 18 months than those in the phacoemulsification alone group (risk ratio (RR) 1.38, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.18 to 1.63, I = 67%). Data from two RCTs also suggested that iStent in combination with phacoemulsification compared to phacoemulsification alone may have offered a small reduction in number of IOP-lowering drops (mean difference (MD) -0.42 drops, 95% CI -0.60 to -0.23). It is uncertain whether there was any difference in terms of mean reduction in IOP from baseline (no meta-analysis).Two RCTs compared treatment with iStent to medical therapy; one of the two trials used the iStent inject. We determined the two trials to be clinically and methodologically heterogeneous and did not conduct a meta-analysis; however, the investigators of both trials reported that over 90% of participants in the treatment groups were drop-free compared to no participants in the medical therapy groups at six to 18 months.One RCT compared treatment with one versus two versus three iStents. There was no difference in terms of participants who were drop-free at 36 months or less; however, at longer follow-up (i.e. at 42 months) participants in the one iStent treatment were less likely to be drop-free than those in the two iStent (RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.34 to 0.75) or three iStent (RR 0.49, 95% CI 0.34 to 0.73) treatment groups. The study did not report the mean change in number of IOP-lowering drops.The type and timing of complications reported varied by RCTs. Similar proportions of participants who underwent treatment with iStent in combination with phacoemulsification and who underwent phacoemulsification alone needed secondary glaucoma surgery. None of RCTs reported findings related to quality of life. There is very low-quality evidence that treatment with iStent may result in higher proportions of participants who are drop-free or achieving better IOP control, in the short, medium, or long-term. Results from the 13 studies with results not yet available may clarify the benefits of treatment of people with iStent. Additionally, future MIGS studies should consider measuring quality of life and outcomes that reflect people's ability to perform vision-dependent activities.