While the goal of selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is typically to reduce a glaucoma patient’s post-op drop regimen, prescribing a topical anti-inflammatory drop—whether a steroid or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)—for the short term might actually help patients reach that goal. New data from the Steroids After Laser Trabeculoplasty (SALT) trial show post-SLT anti-inflammatory treatment significantly reduced intraocular pressure at 12 weeks.

In this trial, the researchers randomized 96 eyes of 85 patients undergoing SLT to one of three groups: NSAID, steroid or placebo drops post-procedure. Participants were instructed to use an unmarked bottle of eye drops four times daily, beginning on the day of the procedure and then for the following four days. During the 12-week follow-up, the researchers noted no statistically significant difference between the three groups at week six, but a significantly greater reduction in IOP for the NSAID and steroid groups by week 12 compared with placebo (-6.2±3.1mm Hg, -5.2±2.7mm Hg and -3±4.3mm Hg, respectively).

“Short-term postoperative use of NSAID or steroid drops may improve IOP reduction after SLT,” the researchers conclude, although they admit that longer-term follow-up studies are needed.

Groth SL, Albeiruti E, Nunez M, et al. Steroids After Laser Trabeculoplasty (SALT) Trial: impact of short-term anti-inflammatory treatment on SLT efficacy. Ophthalmology. June 5, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].