J Glaucoma. 2022 Jun 13. doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000002066. Online ahead of print.
PRECIS: Short-term use of the Balance Goggles System in glaucoma patients was not associated with observable changes in conventional OCT imaging but metabolic imaging using peripapillary flavoprotein fluorescence may represent a useful adjuctive investigation.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the intraocular pressure (IOP)-lowering effects of the Balance Goggles System (BGS) are accompanied by changes in retinal thickness measured by ocular coherence tomography, retinal vascular density measured by OCT-angiography, or novel peripapillary metabolic profiling using flavoprotein fluorescence (FPF) measured by a fundus camera.
DESIGN: Prospective comparative case-series.
SUBJECTS: 8 eyes from 8 patients with open-angle glaucoma ranging from mild to severe.
METHODS: In this prospective, single-center, open-label, non-randomized, single-arm study patients received a baseline evaluation including retinal imaging, then one hour of negative pressure application through the BGS, followed by repeat retinal imaging. Participants then used the BGS at home for 1 month and underwent a repeat evaluation at the conclusion of the trial.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes in nerve fiber layer thickness, OCTA vascular parameters and FPF scores.
RESULTS: Mean baseline IOP was 18.0±3.1 mmHg and there was no significant change in IOP at follow-up. At 1 month compared to baseline, there was a statistically significant improvement in FPF optic nerve head rim scores (12.7±11.6 to 10.5±7.5; P=0.04). Additionally, there was there was a trend towards an increase in RNFL thickness after 1 month (69.5±14.2 to 72.0±13.7; P=0.1), but there were no statistically significant differences observable with any of the OCTA vascular parameters either at 1 hour or after 1 month.
CONCLUSIONS: There were no significant changes observable using conventional OCT imaging following short-term use of the BGS, although metabolic imaging using FPF may be a useful potential biomarker to complement existing investigations. Additional studies are warranted to further investigate these changes.