Primary treatment of nasolacrimal duct obstruction with balloon catheter dilation in children younger than 4 years of age

Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group, Jill S Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To report the outcome of nasolacrimal duct balloon catheter dilation as the primary treatment of congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction (NLDO) in children younger than 4 years of age.

METHODS: One hundred two children (151 eyes) ages 12 to <48 months (mean, 23 months) at the time of surgery, who previously had not undergone a nasolacrimal surgical procedure and who presented with at least one of the following clinical signs of NLDO--epiphora, increased tear lake, and/or mucous discharge--were enrolled in a prospective, nonrandomized observational multicenter study (20 sites). All children received balloon catheter dilation of the nasolacrimal system of the affected eye(s).

RESULTS: Treatment success was defined as no epiphora, increased tear lake, and/or mucous discharge present at the outcome visit at 1 month after surgery. The proportion of eyes treated successfully was 82% (95% CI: 74%-88%). The dye disappearance test at outcome was normal in 105 (73%), indeterminate in 15 (10%), and abnormal in 23 (16%) of the 143 eyes tested.

CONCLUSIONS: In children 12 to <48 months of age, balloon catheter dilation as a primary treatment of NLDO was successful in approximately 80% of cases. Because we did not perform a randomized trial with a comparison group, we were unable to determine how this procedure's success rate compares with that of simple probing or nasolacrimal intubation in this age group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of AAPOS
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Catheterization
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fluorescein/pharmacokinetics
  • Fluorescent Dyes/pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lacrimal Apparatus Diseases/etiology
  • Lacrimal Duct Obstruction/complications
  • Male
  • Nasolacrimal Duct
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Tears/metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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