To correlate trends of laser trabeculoplasties (LTPs) with the introduction of medical therapies for glaucoma and to assess whether these trends changed after the introduction of selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) in 2001.Methods
A retrospective analysis of LTP numbers, filtration surgeries, glaucoma medications dispensed, and population distribution by age in Ontario, Canada, between April 1992 and March 2005.Results
The number of LTP per 1000 persons estimated to have primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) increased from 138.05 in 1992 to a maximum of 149.23 in 1996 (8.1% increase, 1.96% annual increase) and then steadily decreased to 70.65 in 2001 (47.3% decrease, 14% annual decrease). From 2001 to 2004, the LTP rate increased to 162.54 (230% increase, 32% annual increase). The number of filtration surgeries per 1000 persons estimated to have POAG steadily decreased from 1996 to 2004 by 21.42% (2.4% annual decrease). The number of glaucoma medications dispensed in Ontario increased from 1992 to 2004 by 91.5% (10.5% annual increase). There were no significant correlations between the LTP rates and the new glaucoma medications rates (r=−0.35 to 0.09; P=0.34 to 0.82) or filtration surgeries rates (r=0.007; P=0.98).Conclusions
There was a substantial reduction in the number of LTP between 1997 and 2001 coinciding, but not correlated with the introduction of medications for the treatment of glaucoma. Between 2002 and 2004 the LTP rates increased, coinciding with the introduction of SLT.