Telemetric non-contact intraocular pressure (IOP) monitoring with an implanted sensor may significantly improve modern glaucoma treatment, according to a study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. 

“Until now, the monitoring of glaucoma patients has mainly relied on single IOP measurements, which can only be gathered during practitioners’ office hours, making the detection of pressure fluctuations and/or pressure peaks difficult,” researchers explain. “There is an obvious need for telemetric monitoring devices that enable continuous intraocular pressure measurement for long-term monitoring.”

Investigators evaluated 6 patients with open-angle glaucoma from the ARGOS-01 study. The ARGOS generation 1 sensor system was implanted in the ciliary sulcus of all 6 patients during cataract surgery from 2011 to 2012. The researchers collected telemetric monitoring data via self-tonometry, automated measurements and during outpatient visits. They also included an analysis of 1 active patient with several years of follow-up. The team examined long-term safety, tolerability and functionality in the remaining patients during the last visit. 


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During the 10-year follow-up period, almost 25,000 IOP measurements were performed. The patients reported excellent tolerance of the implanted sensor and did not experience sensor-related pain or complications. The active patient reported good handling of self-tonometry and the implanted sensor did not limit their daily activities. The investigators noted that telemetric data offers insight into patient’s measurement routines and IOP fluctuations. They also reported that the implanted sensors had good long-term safety and functionality.

The study notes several limitations. For one, data on regular self-tonometry could only be collected from 1 of the ARGOS-01 participants, which limits the generalizability of statements about treatment adherence. Additionally, the measurement accuracy of the sensor was previously reported as limited. 

Overall, the researchers report that “this disease monitoring type has the potential to significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of modern glaucoma treatment and provide benefits to patients.” However, they stress that preventing glaucoma progression “must remain the aim of further scientific studies on new diagnostic and therapeutic methods to maintain the patient’s quality of life.”

Reference

Schmidt I, Plange N, Walter P, Koutsonas A. Telemetric non-contact intraocular pressure monitoring with an implanted sensor in patients with glaucoma: long-term safety report and monitoring data. Br J Ophthalmol. Published online March 21, 2022. doi:10.1136/bjophthalmol-2021-319786