PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of laser trabeculoplasty (LTP) with a semiconductor diode laser (810 nm, [DLT]) vs an argon blue- green laser (488 to 514 nm, [ALT]). METHODS: In a prospective, randomized clinical trial, 50 eyes of 46 patients with uncontrolled open-angle glaucoma on maximally tolerated medical therapy were treated and followed at regular intervals for 5 years. Fifty laser spots were applied over 180 degrees using either maximal laser power or sufficient power to produce blanching or a small bubble (570 to 850 mW, DLT; 400 to 1,100 mW, ALT). We performed DLT using a 100-μm spot size, a 0.5-second exposure, and a Ritch lens; we conducted ALT with a 50-μm spot, a 0.1-second exposure, and a Goldmann lens. Patients in the study were followed until trabeculectomy was required. RESULTS: The mean follow-up times ± SD for all eyes were 38.6 ± 5.4 months, DLT (n = 22; range, 1 to 68 months) and 35.5 ± 4.8 months, ALT (n = 28; range, 1 to 66 months). Those in the diode laser group (n = 16) who had more than 1 year of follow-up were tracked for 49.4 months, and those in the argon laser group (n = 21) were tracked for 45.8 months. There were no significant differences in the mean pretreatment intraocular pressures (IOPs): 21.2 mm Hg, DLT (n = 22) and 21.5, ALT 21.5 mm Hg (n = 28); P = .81] or in mean final IOPs (15.7 mm Hg, DLT and 17.1 mm Hg, ALT; P = .19). Time to surgical failure showed no significant differences, with 50% of the DLT eyes and 58% of the ALT eyes surviving at 5 years (P = .59). CONCLUSION: In eyes with open-angle glaucoma and unsatisfactory IOP control on maximally tolerated medical therapy, DLT and ALT are equally effective in lowering IOP over a 5-year period.
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