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      Clinical Effectiveness of Balloon Dacryocystoplasty in Circumscribed Obstructions of the Nasolacrimal Duct

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          Purpose: Balloon dacryocystoplasty (DCP) is known to have limited clinical success rates. In a previous publication, we tried to define subgroups that could benefit from interventional treatment of tear duct stenoses. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of DCP performed with limited indication confined to patients with circumscribed stenosis or distal occlusion of the nasolacrimal duct (NLD). Patients and Methods: Twenty-nine patients with severe epiphora due to dacryocystographically proven postsaccal obstruction of the lacrimal draining system were treated by means of DCP and were available for a telephone interview after a median follow-up period of 40 months (5–75 months). A standardized questionnaire covered the individual history of epiphora before and after interventional treatment. All patients had circumscribed stenoses of the lower lacrimal sac or the NLD or presented with short-distance occlusions of the distal NLD. Patients with canalicular, high saccal or diffuse lesions as well as cases with active dacryocystitis, suspicion of dacryocystolithiasis or posttraumatic stenosis were excluded from DCP. Failures or recurrences with no major improvement compared with the initial status were taken as a study endpoint. Results: We dilated 21 partial and 8 complete obstructions and post-DCP control dacryocystograms showed a widening of the ductal lumen or improvement of flow. In 25 out of 29 patients, regression of clinical symptoms occurred during the first week after treatment, 4 cases remained unchanged. Ten out of 25 patients with initial improvement reported recurrence of severe epiphora after a median period of 5 months. Five patients of all treated patients (n = 29) received additional operative dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) after failure of DCP or due to severe recurrences. One patient received DCR during the 1st week after DCP (n = 1). Four out of 25 patients with initial improvement underwent DCR. Overall, 15 of the 29 treated patients had durable improvement of epiphora by DCP alone. Conclusion: Even patients with circumscribed obstructions of the NLD and exclusion of factors potentially associated with poor outcome of tear duct stenosis after DCP balloon dilatation showed a limited clinical success and high recurrence rate. The main argument to continue DCP as first or second line treatment in selected patients with duct obstructions is its lack of invasiveness. Even patients with increased risk of general anesthesia can be treated and approximately half of the operations may be avoided.

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          Most cited references 7

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          Endoscopic laser dacryoplasty. Methods and results after 3 months

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            Nonsurgical fluoroscopically guided dacryocystoplasty of common canalicular obstructions

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              Intervention in the Lacrimal Drainage System


                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                October 2007
                22 October 2007
                : 221
                : 6
                : 434-438
                Departments of aOphthalmology and bNeuroradiology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
                107507 Ophthalmologica 2007;221:434–438
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 3, References: 11, Pages: 5
                Original Paper


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