Ellex Medical Lasers Limited, a manufacturer and distributor of ophthalmic technology, today announced that it will host an educational symposium for SLT (selective laser trabeculoplasty) at the upcoming 2012 Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) Congress in Busan, Korea.
Featuring a panel of leading SLT practitioners from throughout the Asia Pacific, the symposium marks the first in a number of initiatives by Ellex to improve awareness of, and access to, SLT in Asia.
Keynote speaker Professor Tin Aung, Head of Glaucoma Services at the Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore, will address symposium delegates regarding the efficacy of SLT in the treatment of Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma (PACG) – the leading cause of glaucoma-related blindness in Asia.(1)
SLT for Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma
Worldwide, more than 15 million people are estimated to suffer from PACG, and this figure is expected to reach more than 21 million by 2020.(2)
Initial treatment of PACG consists of creating a hole in the periphery of the iris in a procedure known as laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI). However, further treatment – by medications, laser or surgery – is frequently required in the majority of patients with PACG in order to control intraocular pressure (IOP) following LPI.
Research currently underway has shown SLT to also be a viable treatment option for PACG. An Ellex-sponsored multi-country, randomized, controlled clinical trial comparing the pressure-lowering effect of SLT with that of (prostaglandin) conventional drug therapy for PACG, led by Professor Aung, has shown SLT to offer the same IOP-lowering effects as prostaglandins over six months. Professor Aung’s group will present the preliminary six-month trial results at the upcoming Association for Research in Vision in Ophthalmology (ARVO), May 2012.
“SLT can be considered to be a viable, safe and effective alternative to medications for lowering the IOP in patients with PAC and PACG after iridotomy, provided there are areas of the angle that are open for SLT to be applied,” said Professor Aung.
The results of Professor Aung and his team follow the 2009 trial by Ching-Lin Ho et al, which showed that SLT after iridotomy treatment, and with at least 90° of the trabeculum gonioscopically visible, is amenable to SLT with similar effectiveness to SLT in the treatment of POAG.
Both trials confirm PACG as a possible new indication for SLT, offering significant hope to the millions of people afflicted by the disease worldwide.
“PACG often affects patients with limited access to medication. Furthermore, patient non-compliance with medication is a major issue. Current reports suggest that the prescription refill rate may be as low as 12%”, commented Ellex CEO, Tom Spurling.
“In view of the vast number of patients affected and blinded by PACG in Asia, and the difficulty of treating these patients by conventional means, we believe that SLT has an important role to play in the region”, said Mr. Spurling.
The Ellex SLT Symposium at APAO will be held on Sunday, 15 April 2012. A summary of the symposium and presentation highlights will shortly be available for download via the dedicated Ellex SLT website, www.slt-ellex.com.
1. Prevalence and Characteristics of Primary Angle-Closure Diseases in a Rural Adult Chinese Population: The Handan Eye Study, Yuanbo Liang, Lixia Guo, David S. Friedman et al., Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011;52:8672–8679
2. The number of people with glaucoma worldwide in 2010 and 2020, H A Quigley, A T Broman Br J Ophthalmol 2006;90:262–267.
Ellex (Ellex Medical Lasers Limited) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of ophthalmic laser and ultrasound systems used by ophthalmologists to diagnose and treat eye disease. With more than 16,000 systems delivered to the market, Ellex has evolved since 1985 from a manufacturing company of primarily OEM products, to direct marketing of its own branded products through subsidiaries in the United States, Japan, Germany and Australia, and a network of distribution partners in more than 100 countries.
For more information about Ellex and its products, please visit www.ellex.com
SLT from Ellex
Ellex is the global leader in lasers to treat glaucoma, with more than 1500 glaucoma experts outside of the US choosing to rely on SLT from Ellex. Ophthalmologists use our Tango™ and Solo™ SLT lasers to deliver short pulses of low-energy light that trigger the body’s natural healing mechanisms. This process reduces the elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) associated with glaucoma. Primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) occurs when the outer part of the iris bulges forward and touches the back of the cornea, inhibiting the outflow of fluid. With PACG immediate treatment is required in order to save the optic nerve, and consists of creating a hole in the iris periphery to allow the outflow of fluid. Recent trials have shown that selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is an effective treatment option in PACG cases where iridotomy has not sufficiently reduced intraocular pressure (IOP). For more information about SLT from Ellex, visit www.slt-ellex.com.