Intraluminal Deposits Found in Glaucoma Tube Shunts Via Anterior Segment Ocular Coherence Tomography

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To describe and characterize a novel observation of intraluminal deposits of glaucoma tube shunts (TS) using spectral domain (SD) ocular coherence topography (OCT).

Patients and Methods:

Fifteen TS in 11 patients diagnosed with primary open-angle, neovascular, aphakic, and uveitic glaucomas. Both Ahmed (n=11) and Baerveldt (n=4) TS were examined with 5-line raster anterior segment SD-OCT imaging.


The exposed tubes of 2 patients had highly reflective intraluminal deposits in the corresponding exposed areas. Seven tubes without exposure had a thin rim of highly reflective material. Six tubes were clear of luminal deposits. The most common diagnosis in the study was uveitic glaucoma which occurred in 5 of the 15 eyes (33%). The next most common diagnosis was primary open-angle glaucoma which occurred in 4 of the 15 eyes (25%). There were 2 nonvalved Baerveldt tubes in each group. The mean duration of TS implantation was 15.0 months in the deposit group and 33.7 months in the group without luminal deposits. The majority of patients in each group were using eye drops at presentation (88.9% deposit, 83.3% clear), and the average intraocular pressure was 20.2 mm Hg in the deposit group and 19.0 mm Hg in the clear group.


Anterior segment OCT imaging may be used to evaluate TS integrity. Intraluminal deposits in TS may occur as a natural response to implanted drainage device, possibly as an inflammatory response.

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