To review the current published literature for high-quality studies on the use of selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) for the treatment of glaucoma. This is an update of the Ophthalmic Technology Assessment titled, "Laser Trabeculoplasty for Open-Angle Glaucoma," published in November 2011.
Literature searches in the PubMed database in March 2020, September 2021, August 2022, and March 2023 yielded 110 articles. The abstracts of these articles were examined to include those written since November 2011 and to exclude reviews and non-English articles. The panel reviewed 47 articles in full text, and 30 were found to fit the inclusion criteria. The panel methodologist assigned a level I rating to 19 studies and a level II rating to 11 studies.
Data in the level I studies support the long-term effectiveness of SLT as primary treatment or as a supplemental therapy to glaucoma medications for patients with open-angle glaucoma. Several level I studies also found that SLT and argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT) are equivalent in terms of safety and long-term efficacy. Level I evidence indicates that perioperative corticosteroid and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug eye drops do not hinder the intraocular pressure (IOP)-lowering effect of SLT treatment. The impact of these eye drops on lowering IOP differed in various studies. No level I or II studies exist that determine the ideal power settings for SLT.
Based on level I evidence, SLT is an effective long-term option for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma and is equivalent to ALT. It can be used as either a primary intervention, a replacement for medication, or an additional therapy with glaucoma medications.
Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found in the Footnotes and Disclosures at the end of this article.