by SP Gurney
The UK Paediatric Glaucoma Society (UKPGS) 2023 annual meeting took place on 27 January at the Cavendish Conference Centre in London. Professor Sir Peng Khaw, UKPGS President, welcomed nearly 100 delegates from around the world, with representation from seven European countries, the USA, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Israel, South Africa, India, and Thailand.
There was a packed programme with 46 high-quality presentations throughout the day and seven panel discussions, stimulating lively audience participation around challenging cases including glaucoma secondary to Sturge-Weber syndrome and occult retinoblastoma masquerading as unilateral glaucoma. Thought-provoking surgical techniques were shown such as glaucoma drainage device exchange, and there was a moving video presentation from Madurai, India on the challenges faced by caregivers of children with glaucoma, and how individualised intervention can improve adherence to treatment and follow up.
The highlights of the day were the Guest Lecture by Ameenat Lola Solebo (Great Ormand Street Hospital, London) and the eponymous Noel Rice Lecture delivered by Professor Sushmita Kaushik (Advanced Eye Centre PGIMER, Chandigarh, India). Lola Solebo spoke eloquently about the challenge of managing children with uveitic glaucoma, in particular the role of corticosteroids in both the treatment of uveitis and the pathophysiology of glaucoma, and the often-difficult balance between achieving optimal control of inflammation while avoiding irreversible glaucomatous visual loss. Sushmita Kaushik shared her personal journey of caring for children with glaucoma, summed up perfectly by the motto of the Indian Pediatric Glaucoma Society, “Because Every Child Matters”. She spoke passionately on a range of topics including glaucoma phenotypes in rubella, congenital primary aphakia, congenital ectropion uveae, and CYP1B1 variants. She discussed innovations such as dexmedatomidine sedation as an alternative to general anaesthesia, and her experience using systemic propranolol in Sturge-Weber and the Aurolab aqueous drainage implant (AADI). Hers was a truly memorable Noel Rice Lecture and was distinguished by the delegates’ response; a standing ovation.
A special mention should also be made to the trainee prize winners: Fernando Ly Yang from Madrid (Visual acuity prediction in primary congenital glaucoma with machine learning models); Aayush Majumdar from New Delhi (Ocular hypertension in fellow eyes of unilateral PCG: Incidence and risk factors); and Ashok Kumar Singh from Chandigarh (Prognostic significance of CYP1B1 genetic variants in non-acquired childhood glaucoma).
The day was a great success with fantastic feedback from delegates. It was characterised by an energy and vitality generated by the joy of meeting once again in person. It was lovely to see friends and colleagues sharing knowledge and experience, face to face once again, for the benefit of our patients and their families.