Primary angle-closure glaucoma: An update

Carrie Wright, Mohammed A. Tawfik, Michael Waisbourd, Leslie J. Katz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Primary angle-closure glaucoma is potentially a devastating disease, responsible for half of glaucoma-related blindness worldwide. Angle closure is characterized by appositional approximation or contact between the iris and trabecular meshwork. It tends to develop in eyes with shallow anterior chambers, anteriorly positioned or pushed lenses, and angle crowding. Risk of primary angle-closure glaucoma is high among women, the elderly and the hyperopic, and it is most prevalent in Asia. Investigation into genetic mechanisms of glaucoma inheritance is underway. Diagnosis relies on gonioscopy and may be aided by anterior segment optical coherence tomography and ultrasound biomicroscopy. Treatment is designed to control intraocular pressure while monitoring changes to the angle and optic nerve head. Treatment typically begins with medical management through pressure-reducing topical medications. Peripheral iridotomy is often performed to alleviate pupillary block, while laser iridoplasty has been found effective for mechanisms of closure other than pupillary block, such as plateau iris syndrome. Phacoemulsification, with or without goniosynechialysis, both in uyes with existing cataracts and0in those with clear lenses, is thus far a viable treatment alternative. Long-term research currently underway will examine its efficacy in cases of angle closure in early stages of the disease. Endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation is another treatment option, which can be combined with cataract surgery. Trabeculectomy remains effective therapy for more advanced cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • angle-closure glaucoma
  • argon laser iridoplasty
  • lensectomy
  • peripheral iridotomy
  • phacoemulsification
  • plateau iris
  • primary angle closure
  • pupillary block
  • review


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