glaucoma (infantile)

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Congenital glaucoma results from a failure of the normal development of the tissues at the angle of the anterior chamber, which impedes the outflow of aqueous humour from the eye.

  • around two thirds of patients have bilateral disease
  • in 25% of infants, the disease is diagnosed at birth
  • the worldwide incidence of the disease varies significantly e.g. - in Northern Ireland is low (1:22,000) in Saudi Arabia is as high as 1:1,250
  • males and females are affected differently in different parts of the world  e.g. – it is more common in boys in North America and Europe, but in Japan it’s more common in girls (1).

In primary congenital or infantile glaucoma, blockage results from an arrest in development of the angle structures at about the seventh month of foetal life.

In other congenital glaucomas there may be an association with other congenital anomalies such as aniridia, Sturge Weber, Marfan's syndrome and neurofibromatosis.


Last reviewed 01/2018