High-definition imaging of trabeculectomy blebs using spectral domain optical coherence tomography adapted for the anterior segment

Mandeep Singh, Jovina L.S. See, Maria C. Aquino, Lennard S.Y. Thean, Paul T.K. Chew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The aim of this work was to image trabeculectomy blebs using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SDOCT). Methods: In this prospective cross-sectional study, patients who had undergone trabeculectomy with at least 3 months of follow up were included. Blebs were imaged using an adapted SDOCT system (Cirrus HD-OCT, Carl Zeiss Meditec Inc., Dublin, CA, USA) and time domain anterior segment optical coherence tomography (ASOCT) (Visante OCT, Carl Zeiss Meditec Inc.). An observer masked to clinical data assessed the utility of SDOCT and ASOCT in visualizing structures in successful and failed blebs. Results: Fifty-one eyes were imaged, of which 43 (84.3%) were successful. SDOCT showed wall thickening (93.0% vs. 67.4%, P = 0.006) and discrete hyporeflective spaces in the wall (88.4% vs. 14.0%, P < 0.0001) in a greater proportion of successful blebs than ASOCT. SDOCT showed the bleb cavity (23.3% vs. 48.8%, P = 0.02), scleral flap (34.9% vs. 90.7%, P < 0.0001), subflap space (20.9% vs. 72.1%, P < 0.0001) and ostium (9.3% vs. 88.4%, P < 0.0001) in fewer successful blebs than ASOCT. The internal ostium was not visualized in any failed bleb using SDOCT, whereas ASOCT showed the ostium in 87.5% of failed blebs (P = 0.001). SDOCT showed cystic spaces in the bleb wall in a greater proportion of successful blebs than failed blebs (88.4% vs. 37.5%, P = 0.005). Conclusions: SDOCT imaging was able to show fine superficial features in the bleb wall. However, SDOCT had limited clinical utility in that it did not provide useful information about deep features such as flap position, bleb cavity formation or patency of the subflap space and internal ostium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-351
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 30 2009



  • Glaucoma
  • Imaging
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Trabeculectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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