Conjunctival thickness as a predictive imaging biomarker for the glaucoma filtration surgery outcome: An optical coherence tomography study

Leonardo Mastropasqua, Lorenza Brescia, Francesco Oddone, Matteo Sacchi, Raffaella Aloia, Michele Totta, Barbara Scatena, Rodolfo Mastropasqua, Luca Agnifili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance: To analyse the preoperative conjunctival thickness in glaucomatous patients undergoing filtration surgery (FS), using optical coherence tomography (OCT). Background: The conjunctival status represents one of the most critical determinants of the FS outcome. Design: Retrospective study. Participants: Sixty-seven patients candidate to FS for uncontrolled glaucoma were enrolled. Methods: OCT was performed at the superior bulbar conjunctiva before FS, and at bleb site at the last follow-up (LF-up) after surgery. Main Outcome Measures: Preoperative full, epithelial, and stromal conjunctival thickness (FCT, CET, CST) and reflectivity (CR), and LF-up bleb-wall thickness (BT), reflectivity (BR) and intraocular pressure (IOP), were the major outcomes. The relations between preoperative parameters and LF-up-IOP, BT and BR were calculated. Results: FS was completely successful in 23 patients (group 1), successful with medications in 22 (group 2), and failed in 22 (group 3). FCT, CET and CST were lower, whereas CR higher, in group 3 compared to groups 1 and 2 (P <.05); BT was lower (P <.001), whereas BR higher (P <.05) in group 3 compared to group 1. FCT and CST were predictors of FS outcome with lower thickness associated with increased odds of failure (odds ratio 0.922, P =.08; 0.941, P =.025). LF-up-IOP inversely correlated with FCT and CST (r = −0.447, P =.003; r = −0.408, P =.007), whereas positively correlated with CR (r = 0.789, P <.001). Conclusions and Relevance: Preoperative conjunctival thickness and reflectivity show significant correlations with the FS outcome, both in terms of IOP and bleb-wall features. Therefore, they may be proposed as predictive imaging biomarkers to estimate the risk of filtration failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1192-1200
Number of pages9
JournalClinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • conjunctival thickness
  • filtering bleb
  • filtration surgery
  • glaucoma
  • optical coherence tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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