The effect of timolol and acetazolamide on transient intraocular pressure elevation following cataract extraction with alpha-chymotrypsin.
Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) early after cataract extraction with alpha-chymotrypsin is a well-described, common occurrence. To study the incidence of pressure increase and the efficacy of medical therapy, IOP was monitored every 12 hours beginning on the first postoperative day in 68 patients after otherwise uncomplicated intracapsular cataract extraction performed with one milliliter of alpha-chymotrypsin and wound closure with multiple sutures. Patients were randomly assigned to one of three groups: treatment with oral acetazolamide, treatment with topical timolol, or no treatment. Without prophylactic treatment, the prevalence of pressure elevation at 24 hours postoperatively was 69% with IOP greater than or equal to 25 mm Hg; 29% with IOP greater than or equal to 40 mm Hg. This was independent of the type of sutures used (10--0 nylon or 9--0 silk). The patients of four different surgeons had similar rates of occurrence of postoperative glaucoma. Both timolol and acetazolamide were essentially equally effective in lowering IOP in these patients. No adverse side effects were observed. With these effective treatments available if needed, we believe that routine monitoring of the IOP by applanation tonometry during the early postoperative course provides a good opportunity for reducing the risk of complications from excessive intraocular pressure.
Packer, AJ; Fraioli, AJ; Epstein, DL
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