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UKPGS Meeting 2019

UKPGS Meeting Report 2019, 25th January 2019

The UKPGS annual meeting took place successfully on 25th January 2019 in London. This year we had over 70 international delegates from countries including USA, Norway, Spain, Israel, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Sweden, Brazil, Netherlands, Germany, Australia, India and the United Kingdom.  

This year, we saw a significant increase in high-quality research submissions on childhood glaucoma. Notable presentations in the research session included the studies on the biomechanical properties of eyes with congenital glaucoma and their effects on pressure measurements, as well as presentations on the outcome of cataract operations in PCG patients. We also learnt about the results of trabeculectomy versus trans-scleral photocoagulation in remote Tanzania patients with childhood glaucoma, and about the effects of socio-economic status on the compliance of childhood glaucoma treatments. Also, we heard an innovative study assessing a facial recognition app, Face2Gene, to identify dysmorphic facial features in pictures from paediatric textbooks. 

In the Grand Rounds session, we had a presentation comparing a new micropulse laser with the traditional trans-scleral photocoagulation treatments, and on on the profile and high prevalence of neuro-ophthalmology diseases in paediatric glaucoma clinic. Professor Grehn from Germany presented a new treatment hypothesis to prevent the development of glaucoma in children who undergo congenital cataract operation at a young age. We had two guest lecturers, Anthony Khawaja and Maria Moosajee, who gave us an exciting overview of the latest developments in glaucoma genetics and the development of the 100,000 genome project in the UK. Everyone in the meeting heralded the arrival of revolutionary treatment based on genomics and the exciting beginning of personalised treatments in glaucoma. 

In the afternoon surgical session, presenters from around the world demonstrated some novel surgical techniques in dealing with difficult conditions, including a novel Baerveldt-Xen implant technique which, although effective, resulted In high-pressure spikes in some patients. There was also a novel approach in tube implantation in eyes with opaque corneas, and a surgical technique to treat aqueous mis-direction secondary to epithelial ingrowth and a tube-extension technique. We also heard about new teaching methods for ophthalmology residents with the use of specially designed model eyes. This was followed by a presentation on the latest developments at the international Childhood Glaucoma Research Network (CGRN), demonstrating the collective efforts from international paediatric glaucoma specialists to foster collaborations and research into this area. 

The highlight of the day was the Noel Rice Lecture. This year, Dr Anil Mandal from L V Prasad in Hyderabad, India shared his 30-year experience looking after thousands of children with glaucoma in Southern India. He recounted the many successes that have changed the lives of countless patients and their families, but at the same time not forgetting that there are patients who do not do well with treatment or for whom it is too late for any eyesight to be saved. He reminded us that losing sight does not mean losing vision. His holistic approach and the support that his institution offers patients has ensured that many patients are able to live their lives to the full despite severe visual disability. He also brought one of his long-term patients, who is now working in London, to share with us how he has coped with his disability and is living a very full and productive life. 

This year we also had our first meeting dinner at a nearby restaurant. After a delicious meal and wine, we had to bid farewell to each other. Many delegates commented that they have learnt much from each other at the meeting that would bring benefits to their patients in the future. We hope that next year’s meeting will see many of the delegates returning and meeting friends new and old to share experiences and learn about new developments in the management of childhood glaucoma. Until then, farewell and please join us in 2020!

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