Phacoemulsification with and without iStent: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Comparative Studies

Francesca Kahale, Wassef Chanbour, Lulwa El Zein, Jason Brenner, Jae Young You, Samir Melki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The iStent (Glaukos Corporation; Laguna Hills, CA, USA) is one of the minimally invasive glaucoma devices. It can be inserted at the time of phacoemulsification or as a stand-alone procedure to lower the intraocular pressure (IOP). Objective: Our aim was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis comparing the effect of iStent insertion at the time of phacoemulsification with phacoemulsification alone in patients with ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma. Methods: We searched EMBASE, MEDLINE (OVID and PubMed), CINAHL, and Cochrane Library for articles published between 2008 and June 2022 (PRISMA 2020 for the checklist). Studies comparing the IOP-lowering effect of iStent with phacoemulsification versus phacoemulsification alone were included. The endpoints were IOP reduction (IOPR) and the mean reduction in the number of glaucoma drops. A quality-effects model was used to compare both surgical groups. Results: Ten studies were included, reporting on 1,453 eyes. Eight hundred fifty three eyes had the combined iStent and phacoemulsification, and 600 eyes underwent phacoemulsification alone. IOPR was higher in the combined surgery at of 4.7 ± 2 mm Hg compared to 2.8 ± 1.9 mm Hg in phacoemulsification alone. A greater decrease in postoperative eye drops was noted in the combined group having a decrease of 1.2 ± 0.3 eye drops versus of 0.6 ± 0.6 drops in isolated phacoemulsification. The quality effect model showed an IOPR weighted mean difference (WMD) of 1.22 mm Hg (confidence interval [CI]: [–0.43, 2.87]; Q = 315.64; p < 0.01; I2 = 97%) and decreased eye drops WMD 0.42 drops (CI: [0.22, 0.62]; Q = 42.6; p < 0.01; I2 = 84%) between both surgical groups. Subgroup analysis shows that the new generation iStent may be more effective in reducing IOP. Conclusion: iStent has a synergetic effect with phacoemulsification. The reduction of IOP and glaucoma eye drops was higher when iStent is combined with phacoemulsification compared with isolated phacoemulsification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1020-1029
Number of pages10
JournalOphthalmic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 26 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.


  • Glaucoma
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Micro-bypass stent
  • Microinvasive glaucoma surgeries
  • iStent

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Meta-Analysis


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