Determination of bleb capsule porosity with an experimental glaucoma drainage device and measurement system



Publication Details

Ross, C., Pandav, S. Singh., Li, Y. Qin., Nguyen, D. Q., Beirne, S., Wallace, G. G., Shaarawy, T., Crowston, J. G. & Coote, M. (2015). Determination of bleb capsule porosity with an experimental glaucoma drainage device and measurement system. JAMA Ophthalmology, 133 (5), 549-554.


Importance Control of intraocular pressure after implantation of a glaucoma drainage device (GDD) depends on the porosity of the capsule that forms around the plate of the GDD.

Objective To compare capsular porosity after insertion of 2 different GDDs using a novel implant and measurement system.

Design, Setting, and Subjects We performed an experimental interventional study at an eye research facility in a tertiary eye care center. Testing was performed on 22 adult New Zealand white rabbits that received the experimental GDD or an existing GDD.

Interventions A new experimental GDD, the Center for Eye Research Australia (CERA) implant, was created using computer-aided design and a 3-dimensional printer. The CERA GDDs were implanted in the eyes of rabbits randomized into 1 of the following 3 groups: with no connection to the anterior chamber (n = 7), with connection to the anterior chamber for 1 week (n = 5), and with connection to the anterior chamber for 4 weeks (n = 5). In a control group (n = 5), a pediatric GDD was implanted without connection to the anterior chamber. We measured the capsular porosity using a pressure-gated picoliter pump at a driving pressure of 12 mm Hg. The animals were killed humanely for histologic study.

Main Outcomes and Measures Porosity of the fibrous capsule around the implant.

Results We found no difference in mean (SEM) capsular porosity between the CERA (3.39 [0.76; 95% CI, 1.43-5.48] µL/min) and pediatric (4.52 [0.52; 95% CI, 3.19-5.95] µL/min) GDDs (P = .28, unpaired t test) at 4 weeks without aqueous exposure. Mean (SEM) capsular porosity of CERA GDDs connected to the anterior chamber at 1 week was 2.46 (0.36; 95% CI, 1.55-3.44) µL/min but decreased to 0.67 (0.07; 95% CI, 0.49-0.86) µL/min at 4 weeks (P = .001, unpaired t test).

Conclusions and Relevance Our experimental method permits direct measurement of capsular porosity of an in situ GDD. In a comparison between an experimental (CERA) and an existing GDD, no differences were identified in capsular porosity or histologic reaction between the implants. These results suggest that the CERA GDD model can be used to test key components of glaucoma surgery and implant design.

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