(HealthDay News) – For patients with mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma, implantation of a nickel titanium microstent (Hydrus Microstent) is associated with significant reduction in intraocular pressure, which is maintained at one year, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, held from Nov. 10–13 in Chicago.

Thomas W. Samuelson, MD, from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues assessed the ability of a microstent implanted ab interno in the Schlemm canal to lower intraocular pressure in a cohort of 69 patients from six centers who were suffering from mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma. The Hydrus stent was placed during cataract surgery in 40 patients, while 29 patients had the stent placed without cataract surgery. Prior to surgery and at one-year follow-up, patients were washed out of glaucoma medications.

The researchers found that, at six months, 85% of combined surgery and 70% of stent-only patients no longer needed medication to control their intraocular pressure. In 40 treated patients there was a significant reduction in the mean intraocular pressure from baseline to one year (23.8±3.5 to 18±4.6).

“So far, mini-stents appear to have important advantages in that they allow us to treat open-angle glaucoma at earlier stages and with lower complication risk,” Samuelson said in a statement. “If the devices can effectively control intraocular pressure over many years, it would be a real breakthrough in combating this blinding disease.”

The study was funded by Ivantis, the manufacturer of the Hydrus Microstent.

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