Aims: To assess the pattern of use of antimetabolites in trabeculectomy surgery by all consultant ophthalmologists in the United Kingdom. Methods: A postal questionnaire of 12 questions regarding antimetabolite use in trabeculectomy surgery was sent to all 749 consultant ophthalmologists in the United Kingdom. The consultants were asked to estimate the number of trabeculectomies they performed per year, how often they used 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in primary and redo surgery, their usual method of administration of 5-FU, how often they used mitomycin (MMC) in primary and redo surgery, and their usual dosage regimen of MMC. Factors that influenced the decision to use or not use antimetabolites were also assessed. Results: The response rate of consultants returning the questionnaire was 82% (615 out of 749); 87% (533) of these consultants perform trabeculectomy surgery. Of these 533 consultants, 98 (18%) never use an antimetabolite. Most consultants (82%) use antimetabolites, but use them infrequently (only 9% using antimetabolites in more than half their cases). The preferred antimetabolite is 5-FU rather than MMC. Of the 435 consultants performing trabeculectomy surgery and using antimetabolites, 402 (93%) use 5-FU and 179 (41%) use MMC. Various factors influenced the decision to use or not use an antimetabolite, but experience of complications associated with their use was a factor for 34% of consultants. Conclusion: The use of antimetabolites, particularly MMC, in the United Kingdom is much less than in America or Japan, where trabeculectomy with MMC is the surgical procedure preferred by glaucoma specialists.
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