Pseudoexfoliative glaucoma (PEXG) is the most common cause of secondary open-angle glaucoma worldwide. It is more aggressive and often more resistant to conventional treatments than primary open-angle glaucoma, yet there is currently no clear consensus on best management practices. This review explores current literature on PEXG to assess the safety and efficacy of currently available surgical techniques, and discusses clinical considerations on the diagnosis and management of the disease.
A PubMed and Google Scholar search identified 2271 articles. These were reviewed to exclude irrelevant or duplicate data. A total of 47 studies reporting specifically on PEXG were retained and analyzed.
One of the most significant ophthalmic consequences of pseudoexfoliative (PEX) syndrome is the compromising of the blood-aqueous barrier resulting in the leakage of inflammatory cytokines and extracellular matrix material into the anterior chamber. Considering the high risk of developing PEXG and the aggressive nature of this type of glaucoma, accurate and timely diagnosis of PEX is critical. Therefore, systematic attentive examination for PEX deposits is crucial. Patients diagnosed with PEX need frequent glaucoma assessments. Patient information is key to improving compliance. Gonioscopy and diurnal tension curves or 24-hour intraocular pressure (IOP) monitoring are integral part of the diagnostic work-up and risk-assessment of PEXG. Because of the lability of IOP in PEX, clinical decisions on the basis of single IOP measurements should be avoided. Cataract extraction was shown to provide persistent IOP-lowering effect in the order of 10% in PEXG. A number of other surgical options may offer wider IOP reduction, and both XEN 45 gel stents and angle-based glaucoma procedures were suggested to achieve better outcomes in PEXG than in primary open-angle glaucoma. Yet, more significant IOP reductions may be achieved with filtering surgery or glaucoma drainage device. Same day postoperative IOP monitoring is recommended to treat the frequent IOP spikes following surgery, and more aggressive anti-inflammatory therapy may reduce the rates of postoperative adverse events in PEXG.
Specific studies of the surgical management of PEXG remain scarce in the medical literature, and more long-term and comparative studies are warranted to define more robust recommendations.