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Postoperative complications in glaucoma surgery: literature review-based recommendations to improve reporting consistency


Aims To recommend a list of complications of glaucoma surgery to be used in future glaucoma surgery research and reporting by exploring the spectrum of complications’ names, the variety of definitions and time frames used for reporting them in glaucoma surgical trials.

Methods Complications’ names, definitions and time frames identified from a previously conducted systematic review of glaucoma surgery trials (registration number: CRD42019121226) were reviewed. Only postoperative complications were considered. Surgical techniques described in the papers from the previous systematic review were retrieved and grouped according their mechanism of action.

Reviewers independently recommended each complication’s inclusion or exclusion in a list to be proposed as a potential standard for reporting in glaucoma interventions. A literature-based definition of a ‘surgical complication’ was used to inform these decisions. Recorded complication’s details were used to inform the development of clinically relevant definitions, a consensus-driven exercise between reviewers resolved disagreements.

Results We identified 48/111 (43.2%) of the reported complications as suitable for inclusion, of which 17 were merged into other included complications having a broader meaning making up a final table of 32 postoperative complications. For 25 of them, the authors kept ‘names’ that were previously used in the systematic review, but provided a definition that was not mentioned in these papers. Five included complications were given both ‘names’ and definitions not previously mentioned. The authors maintained the name and definition for one complication. There were 16 complications that were in common to all the procedures retrieved from the previous review.

Conclusions We propose a table of revised names and comprehensive definitions of postoperative complications, to simplify the process of reporting complications after glaucoma surgery and to improve consistency among surgical trials.

  • glaucoma
  • treatment surgery
  • anterior chamber

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as online supplemental information.

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