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Do topical ocular antihypertensives affect Dacryocystorhinostomy outcomes: The Coventry experience



It has been suggested that ocular antihypertensives are associated with an increased risk of nasolacrimal duct obstruction. This study aims to assess the effect of topical antihypertensive treatment on surgical outcomes for patients undergoing Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) with intubation.


Single centre, retrospective analysis of 170 operations carried out on 144 patients between January 2014 and January 2019. Statistical analysis of DCR failure rates comparing patients on topical ocular antihypertensive treatment and those not on any topical ocular antihypertensive treatment was carried out following medical case record analysis.


6.9% of patients undergoing DCR surgery were on topical antihypertensive treatment. The overall failure rate for all DCR operations during this time period was 11.2%. There was a statistically significant higher rate of primary DCR failure in patients on antihypertensive treatment (p = 0.02), with the endonasal DCRs worse affected (p = 0.01). The most commonly used topical treatments were carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAI, 81.8%), followed by beta-blockers (72.7%). All patients who had failure of primary DCR were using topical beta-blockers and CAI at the time of surgery and post-operatively. There was no statistically significant association between failure rates and the use of preserved or unpreserved drops (p = 1.0)


Topical ocular antihypertensive treatment may lead to a higher failure rate for DCR surgery due to the provocation of an inflammatory cicatricial response. Beta-blockers and CAIs appear to have the strongest association. Considering a primary external approach in this group as well as switching the class of topical antihypertensive treatment pre-operatively could perhaps improve DCR outcomes.

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All authors contributed to the conception of the study, data analysis, revision of the manuscript and approval of the final version. Both authors agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

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Correspondence to Priyanka Mandal.

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Mandal, P., Ahluwalia, H. Do topical ocular antihypertensives affect Dacryocystorhinostomy outcomes: The Coventry experience. Eye 36, 135–139 (2022).

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