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To evaluate the effect of selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) on intraocular pressure (IOP) control and diurnal tension curves of patients with open-angle glaucoma (OAG) and ocular hypertension (OHT), and to compare this effect with that of latanoprost.Forty patients were randomised to receive either SLT or latanoprost. IOP control was evaluated by comparing pretreatment values with post-treatment measurements on day 3, week 1, month 1 and 4–6 months; success was defined as 20% decrease in IOP. Tension curves were plotted prior to treatment and 4–6 months afterwards; success was 50% reduction in fluctuation.SLT decreased pressure by 4.7 mm Hg on average (95% CI 3.6 to 5.7 mm Hg; p<0.01). The reduction was similar for latanoprost at all follow-ups except month 1; 75% of SLT patients and 73% of latanoprost patients achieved success in IOP control (p = 0.4). SLT significantly reduced IOP fluctuation, but latanoprost was more effective (3.6 mm Hg, 95% CI 3.2 to 3.9 mm Hg vs 2.5 mm Hg, 95% CI 2.2 to 2.9 mm Hg for SLT; p = 0.04). Success in fluctuation reduction was 50% for SLT and 83% for latanoprost (p = 0.045).Both SLT and latanoprost had a significant impact on IOP control and fluctuation. While latanoprost may be more likely to reduce IOP fluctuation, SLT has the benefit of being a one-time intervention not requiring ongoing patient compliance.