This two volume publication about current innovations in primary open angle glaucoma has persevered to come out with a comprehensive review of the latest publications in the world of glaucoma. The list of contributors includes clinicians from the field of glaucoma across the world, as well as editors of peer reviewed ophthalmology journals.
The expectation was quite high as the blurb suggested that it would cover current facts about diagnosis and management of glaucoma in light of new methods of treatment encompassing surgery and laser. The editors also suggested the main aim of the book was to unveil the mysteries of glaucoma by presenting a panoramic view of new technologies available.
The first volume of the book covers clinical evaluation, diagnosis and optic disc assessment including various imaging technologies. The authors go on to discuss advances in visual field testing, latest technologies and software available for analysis of progression of visual field defects. They also provide an update on the latest available medical treatments.
The authors cover concisely the available medications, which have stood the test of time and are the mainstay of glaucoma therapy. I was hoping to learn more about upcoming drugs and treatment choices that are being researched, but unfortunately the articles stop short of this. Nevertheless, the chapters discussing optic disc photos, Heidelberg retinal tomography and retinal nerve fibre layer thickness assessment using optical coherence tomography (OCT) and GDx covers a wide array of issues accompanied by excellent colour images.
This part of the book opens up new dimensions to the trainee and general ophthalmologists regarding the progress disc imaging has made. It is a useful resource to somebody who has interest in glaucoma diagnostic aids. Although the book focuses on open angle glaucoma, the added advantage to the reader is to find a chapter on the use of ultrasound and anterior segment OCT as an aid to manage angle closure glaucoma.
The second volume of this book is more surgical. Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is described in the first chapter, which also encompasses recent studies about SLT effectiveness. The authors then proceed to methods and complications of trabeculectomy and the need to use antimetabolites. The issues have been well debated over the years. This book provides step by step details of the surgery including modifications, accompanied by lovely colour illustrations that will be quite useful to trainees. Arena’s ab externo technique is described for the interested surgeons, and so are non-penetrating surgeries like deep sclerectomy. Glaucoma drainage device is making a comeback in modern glaucoma surgery.
The authors did include technicalities of Molteno tube implantation, but I was expecting a bit more discussion covering latest generations of glaucoma drainage devices, pitching them against each other. Also missing is any discussion regarding implantable drainage devices, like i-stent, which I should expect from a book aiming to discuss latest innovations in glaucoma. A bonus at the end of this book is a very well produced chapter about complications of glaucoma filtration surgery, with an array of good quality colour photographs, which is a treasure for all glaucoma enthusiasts.
To conclude, I would recommend the book to update oneself on advances in the field of glaucoma, but also suggest that the authors should include more recent developments in the subsequent editions. The editors suggest that the book is useful for patients to understand their eye condition, but I think the language used by the contributors in this book is aimed at professionals rather than lay persons.