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Anterior chamber flare after trabeculectomy and after phacoemulsification
  1. D Siriwardenaa,
  2. A Kotechaa,
  3. D Minassiana,
  4. J K G Dartb,
  5. P T Khawa
  1. aInstitute of Ophthalmology, London EC1V 9EL, UK, bMoorfields Eye Hospital, London EC1V 2PD
  1. Dr D Siriwardena, Wound Healing and Glaucoma Research Units, Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital, 11–43 Bath Street, London EC1V 9ELd.siriwardena{at}


AIMS To evaluate and compare prospectively the anterior chamber inflammatory response after phacoemulsification cataract surgery and after trabeculectomy with peripheral iridectomy.

METHODS Anterior chamber inflammation was measured using the Kowa FM-500 laser flare meter in 131 patients undergoing trabeculectomy and 148 patients undergoing phacoemulsification cataract extraction with intraocular lens implantation. Flare was measured before surgery and on each postoperative visit up to 12 months.

RESULTS Before surgery there was no significant difference in flare readings between the two groups. Following trabeculectomy flare returned to baseline levels 4 weeks after surgery, while following phacoemulsification cataract extraction it remained significantly higher at week 6 (p<0.006) and month 3 (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS Anterior chamber inflammation is more prolonged after cataract surgery than after trabeculectomy. This may have implications for the timing of trabeculectomy in relation to cataract surgery.

  • cataract surgery
  • trabeculectomy
  • phacoemulsification
  • flare

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  • Funding: Supported by the Medical Research Council, UK Grant G9330070 Moorfields/MRC Intraoperative 5-FU Study Grant G9323041 MRC Collaborative Phako Trial. Conflict of interest: no proprietary interests.