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Histological analysis of trabeculotomy - An investigation on the intraocular pressure lowering mechanism.

  • Hamanaka, Teruhiko1
  • Chin, Shinki2
  • Shinmei, Yasuhiro2
  • Sakurai, Tetsuro3
  • Tanito, Masaki4
  • Kijima, Riki2
  • Tsutsui, Aika4
  • Ueno, Yuta5
  • Ishida, Nobuo6
  • Ueda, Toshihiko7
  • Kumasaka, Toshio8
  • 1 Department of Ophthalmology, Japanese Red Cross Medical Center, Tokyo, Japan; Ishida Eye Clinic, Joetsu-City, Niigata, Japan. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Japan)
  • 2 Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine and Graduate School of Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan. , (Japan)
  • 3 Center of General Education, Tokyo University of Science, Suwa, Chino, Nagano, Japan. , (Japan)
  • 4 Department of Ophthalmology, Shimane University Faculty of Medicine, Izumo, Shimane, Japan. , (Japan)
  • 5 Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan. , (Japan)
  • 6 Ishida Eye Clinic, Joetsu-City, Niigata, Japan. , (Japan)
  • 7 Nihonmatsu Eye Hospital, Tokyo, Japan. , (Japan)
  • 8 Department of Pathology, Japanese Red Cross Medical Center, Tokyo, Japan. , (Japan)
Published Article
Experimental Eye Research
Publication Date
Apr 18, 2022
DOI: 10.1016/j.exer.2022.109079
PMID: 35439528


The primary aim of trabeculotomy (TLO) and/or minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) is to produce a direct communication between the anterior chamber (AC) and collector channels (CC), which is believed to be the process by which intraocular pressure (IOP) is normalized. However, we previously reported our finding of the large opening of the Schlemm's canal (SC) into the AC in eyes with failed TLO (Amari et al., 2015). If the routes from the AC to the CC by TLO/MIGS are direct, IOP should be stabilized at around aqueous vein pressure if the SC and CC are undamaged. However, in eyes in which TLO/MIGS is successful, IOP usually stays at around the middle or high teens post surgery. In this current study, we retrospectively investigated the specific reason for middle- or high-teens IOP following TLO/MIGS via the histological examination of trabeculectomy (TRAB) specimens that include the area of previous TLO/MIGS in eyes with failed TLO or insufficient IOP control following TLO by specifically focusing on the behavior of the SC endothelium (SCE). Patient background, maximum IOP prior to TLO/MIGS and TRAB, the number medications administered, and elapsed time between TLO/MIGS and TRAB were reviewed. In 42 TRAB specimens of 31 120-180° TLO eyes (Group A; 27 ab-externo and 4 ab-interno eyes) and 11 360° suture TLO eyes (Group B), SC length (SCL), the site of the incision in the trabecular meshwork (TM) [i.e., the center (CEN)/anterior-tip (TIP)], and TM opening into the AC [i.e., open (OPN)/closed (CLS)] were histologically investigated. The correlation between the clinical parameters of the maximum IOP of pre-TLO/MIGS, the maximum IOP of pre-TRAB, the percentage of IOP reduction (PIR), and the histological results were statistically evaluated. Our findings revealed a significant negative correlation between the maximum IOP of pre-TRAB and SCL (P = 0.0167), and a significantly higher PIR in the eyes with OPN than those with CLS in Group A (P = 0.0045). However, no significant difference in SCL was found between the OPN and CLS eyes in both groups. In comparison to Group A, a higher percentage of OPN (82%) yet a smaller SCL (P = 0.0024) was observed in Group B. No significant correlation between clinical and histological parameters was found in Group B. In both groups, the common finding was sealing of the SC openings by SC endothelium (SCE) and no direct communication between the AC and the CC. This fact indicates that the nature by which SCE seals off the opened SC lumen into the AC created by TLO may be very important for maintaining the blood-aqueous barrier. Based on these results, we concluded that accessibility for aqueous humor to the SC and preservation of the SC may be important for lowering IOP by TLO. However, the opening of the SC into the AC (OPN type) does not guarantee an adequate IOP lowering effect if the SC is widely collapsed. Thus, TLO may be improved only by eliminating the most resistant part of the TM with minimal SCE damage. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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