J Cataract Refract Surg 2002; 28:2177–2180

Savitha R. Kasetti, FRCSEd, Shrivatsa P. Desai, FRCOphth, Subramaniam Sivakumar, FRCSEd, Palaniswamy Sunderraj, FRCOphth, FRCSEd  

Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness of prophylactic topical apraclonidine 1% in preventing an intraocular pressure (IOP) rise in the early period after uneventful phacoemulsification with intraocular lens (IOL) implantation.   Setting: District general hospital, United Kingdom 

Methods: In this prospective masked randomized trial, 61 patients had elective, routine, corneal tunnel, sutureless phacoemulsification with in-the-bag foldable IOL implantation. A single surgeon operated on all the patients. Patients were randomized to receive topical apraclonidine 1% eyedrops (n = 31) or artificial tears (control group, n = 30) 1 hour preoperatively and at the end of the surgery. An observer masked to the perioperative drops used measured the IOP preoperatively and 3 to 6 hours and 16 to 24 hours postoperatively. The primary outcome was the change in IOP between the baseline and the 2 postoperative intervals. The IOP changes within and between the groups were analyzed using the t test and chi-square test.  

Results: The changes between the postoperative and preoperative IOPs in the study groups were statistically significant (apraclonidine, P = 0.018 and P = 0.007, respectively; artificial tears, P = 0.028 and P = 0.023, respectively; paired t test). There was no significant difference in the postoperative IOP between the apraclonidine and control groups 3 to 6 hours and 16 to 24 hours postoperatively (P = 0.717 and P = 0.497, respectively; independent t test). The mean difference was 0.2 mm Hg (95% confidence interval [CI], −3.4 to 3.1) in the apraclonidine group and 2.2 mm Hg (95% CI, −2.5 to 7.0) in the control group. In each group, a few patients had an IOP greater than 30 mm Hg in the first 24 hours.  

Conclusion: Prophylactic topical perioperative apraclonidine 1% did not cause a significant reduction in the postoperative IOP when compared with a control group.