Glaucoma Treatment Outcomes in Open Angle Glaucoma Patients of African Descent

Brent Siesky, Alon Harris, Aditya Belamkar, Ryan Zukerman, Avery Horn, Alice Verticchio Vercellin, Kristen A. Mendoza, Paul A. Sidoti, Francesco Oddone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Open angle glaucoma (OAG), characterized by structural changes to the optic nerve head and retinal nerve fiber layer, is a progressive multifactorial optic neuropathy and a leading cause of irreversible blindness globally. Currently, intraocular pressure is the only modifiable risk factor; however, others have been identified, including genetics and race. Importantly, OAG is much more prevalent in persons of African descent (AD) compared with those of European descent (ED). OAG patients of AD are also known to have a more severe course of the disease, a finding potentially explained by structural and/or vascular differences within eye tissues. In addition, disparities in treatment outcomes have been identified in OAG patients of AD. Specifically, prostaglandin analogues have been suggested to be more effective in patients of AD than in those ED, while beta-adrenergic receptors have been suggested to be less effective, although the evidence is inconsistent. AD has also been identified as a risk factor for trabeculectomy failure while laser trabeculoplasty has been conversely found to be very effective in lowering intraocular pressure in patients of AD. Alternative surgical options, including Ex-Press shunt implantation, viscocanalostomy, and canaloplasty are promising in equivalence but require further research to evaluate disparity in outcome properly. In addition to treatment outcomes, social disparities affecting clinical care also exist for AD persons in the form of reduced adherence, access, and choice. Overall, data suggest the need for properly designed prospective trials with AD populations as a primary focus to identify the potential mechanisms driving disparities in treatment and address overall potential bias in glaucoma management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-487
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Glaucoma
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • African descent
  • access to care
  • adherence
  • blacks
  • glaucoma
  • laser trabeculoplasty
  • open angle glaucoma
  • topical medications
  • trabeculectomy


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