Book review

Media Type: Textbook(s)

Synopsis: Among many glaucoma textbooks, I found this two-volume series to be the most comprehensive and informative one. It is useful for everyone in the field from the rotating medical students to the most prestigious of glaucoma specialists. This text combines the contributions of many outstanding international experts in the field and covers all of the aspects of the medical and surgical treatment of glaucoma. Although some information about it is scattered in different chapters, I would suggest that a separate chapter on “Unilateral glaucoma” be included in this text. Perhaps this can be arranged for future editions. Aside from that, shortcomings of this series on glaucoma are few and minor.

Target Audience: General ophthalmologists and glaucomatologists.

Review: There are 18 color-coded sections that are further subdivided into 118 chapters, a format that makes it easier for the readers to navigate. Volume one has 696 pages and volume two has 652 pages containing numerous detailed illustrations and content vital to the fund of knowledge as well as the practice of ophthalmology. The chapters are well-organized, covering the topics of epidemiology, pathophysiology, screening and psychophysical testing, and medical and surgical management. This makes for an exceedingly thorough reference.

Some of the sections are overlapping. Nevertheless, the quality of the text is uniformly high and some deserve special mention in this review.


This volume covers a wide and interesting array of subjects such as corneal biomechanics on Tonometry, written by Brandt et al; the definition of glaucoma worldwide by Dr. Spaeth; Pseudoexfoliation glaucoma by Dr. Ritch; Ocular hypertension by Dr. Kass; Normal tension glaucoma by Drs. Krupin and Tanna; and Traumatic glaucoma by Dr. Katz; Vision rehabilitation and Low vision therapy by Dr. Keeffe – all of which are enlightening and exquisitely written.

There is a particularly well-written chapter by Dr. Lee and Dr. Matchar that describes the economic impact of glaucoma. Dr. Lee especially emphasizes the growing cost of caring for glaucoma and its burden on the world’s economy.

Also of note, the illustrations in this volume are terrific, especially in the chapter on the ultrasound bio-microscopy by Drs. Marchini et al, and in the chapters on retinal nerve fiber photography by Drs. Choplin and Craven. There is a wonderful visual depiction of some valuable new techniques, specifically ultrasonography, that are still relatively novel, but might eventually become the standard of care in the management of glaucoma.


The major portion of this volume describes the surgical treatment in glaucoma from “Laser Trabeculoplasty”, “Laser iridotomy,” and “Endocyclophotocoagulation” to “Trabeculectomy” and “Shunt procedures”. The different surgical procedures are nicely reviewed, compared and contrasted.

In the beginning of the volume, Drs. Cioffi and Van Buskirk discuss and compare “Medical versus Surgical treatment” as the first step toward the management of chronic open-angle glaucoma. They propose to consider trabeculectomy as the first choice in select patients with some specific criteria, for example, elderly patients with lightly pigmented skin and advanced glaucoma. This viewpoint is balanced by Dr. Migdal in Chapter 6, where he argues that medical therapy is still the first choice in the management of chronic open-angle glaucoma. Dr. Migdal concedes, however, that the threshold is now lower in choosing surgery as the first step.

Chapters 85–90 are dedicated to the new glaucoma surgery techniques such as “Nonpenetrating Glaucoma Surgery”. Several authors outline the principles and mechanisms of these procedures and describe the different techniques and their complications. Although most of these procedures have not gained universal acceptance yet, it is beneficial for every ophthalmologist to at least be familiar with them, as they may represent the future of glaucoma surgery.

Finally, Section 13 is dedicated to the management of coexisting cataract and glaucoma and Section 14 to the different Glaucoma Drainage devices.

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Jan 17, 2017 | Posted by in OPHTHALMOLOGY | Comments Off on Book review

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