UC Davis Health Eye Center 1st to try microshunt for refractory childhood glaucoma

University of California Davis Health's Eye Center in Sacramento is the first to attempt placing microshunts in children with refractory glaucoma. 

A small single-center case study of 12 children conducted by the health system found that a polymer-based microshunt is safe in pediatric patients with this condition, according to a Nov. 16 news release from UC Davis Health. The study was published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology. 

The children's ages ranged from 15 months to 14 years. The study followed up with the children 12 to 18 months after the procedure and found 75 percent showed success and 25 percent required additional surgery. No complications were recorded during any of the procedures. 

"We are in a golden age of innovation for adult glaucoma. But treatments for children with glaucoma are largely an afterthought," James Brandt, MD, lead investigator for the study, professor of ophthalmology and the Daryl and Opal Geweke Endowed Chair of Glaucoma at UC Davis Health, said in the release. "No recently approved minimally invasive glaucoma devices have been systematically studied in children."

The idea for the procedure came from Dr. Brandt's work in 2017 with the Preserflo MicroShunt for adults. He was then approved by the FDA for use of the microshunt in a small cohort of children older than 6 months who had failed previous glaucoma surgery. 

Dr. Brandt noted in the study that there were significant limitations to the study due to the number of participants and diversity of cases and is now planning the first clinical trial of the procedure at multiple centers. 

Read the full study here

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