The impact of conjunctival flap method and drainage cannula diameter on bleb survival in the rabbit model

Cooper D. Rodgers, Alissa M. Meyer, Nicole C. Rosenberg, Zachary L. Lukowski, Jamie L. Schaefer, Gina M. Martorana, Monica A. Levine, Craig A. Meyers, Mark B. Sherwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose To examine the effect of cannula diameter and conjunctival flap method on bleb survival in rabbits undergoing cannula-based glaucoma filtration surgery (GFS). Methods Twelve New Zealand White rabbits underwent GFS in both eyes. The twenty-four eyes were divided into four groups. Two of the four groups (N = 12) received limbus-based conjunctival flaps (LBCF), and the other two (N = 12) received fornix-based conjunctival flaps (FBCF). Six FBCF rabbit eyes were implanted with 22-gauge drainage tubes, and the other six were implanted with 26-gauge tubes. Likewise, six LBCF rabbits received 22-gauge drainage tubes and six received 26-gauge tubes. Filtration blebs were evaluated every three days by a masked observer. Bleb failure was defined as the primary endpoint in this study and was recorded after two consecutive flat bleb evaluations. Results Group 1 (LBCF, 22- gauge cannula) had a mean bleb survival time (Mean ± SD) of 18.7 ± 2.9 days. Group 2 (LBCF, 26-gauge cannula) also had a mean bleb survival time of 18.7 ± 2.9 days. Group 3 (FBCF, 22-gauge cannula) had a mean bleb survival time of 19.2 ± 3.8 days. Group 4 (FBCF, 26-gauge cannula) had a mean bleb survival time of 19.7 ± 4.1 days. A 2-way analysis of variance showed that neither surgical approach nor cannula gauge made a statistically significant difference in bleb survival time (P = 0.634 and P = 0.874). Additionally, there was no significant interaction between cannula gauge and conjunctival flap approach (P = 0.874), suggesting that there was not a combination of drainage gauge and conjunctival flap method that produced superior bleb survival. Conclusion Limbus and fornix-based conjunctival flaps are equally effective in promoting bleb survival using both 22 and 26-gauge cannulas in the rabbit model. The 26-gauge drainage tube may be preferred because its smaller size facilitates the implantation process, reducing the risk of corneal contact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0196968
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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