The management of nasolacrimal duct obstruction in children between 18 months and 4 years old.

Burton Kushner // Publications // Feb 01 1998

PubMed ID: 10532369

Author(s): Kushner BJ. The management of nasolacrimal duct obstruction in children between 18 months and 4 years old. J AAPOS. 1998 Feb;2(1):57-60. PMID 10532369

Journal: Journal Of Aapos : The Official Publication Of The American Association For Pediatric Ophthalmology And Strabismus, Volume 2, Issue 1, Feb 1998

PURPOSE Success with nasolacrimal duct probing has been shown to be inversely correlated with age. Consequently, several authors have suggested that the older child with a previously untreated nasolacrimal duct obstruction should undergo silicone intubation or a balloon catheterization as the primary surgical procedure because older children are more likely to have complicated obstructions that will not respond to simple probing. The purpose of this study was to investigate the hypothesis that older children with uncomplicated nasolacrimal duct obstruction can be successfully managed with simple probing.

METHODS A 14-year prospective study was conducted of consecutive patients older than age 18 months with nasolacrimal duct obstruction. All were treated (subject to certain exclusion criteria) with a simple nasolacrimal duct probing. Careful attention was paid to the type of obstruction encountered at surgery. Outcome evaluation included a standard ophthalmologic examination plus a dye disappearance test at 6 weeks after surgery. A follow-up examination or telephone interview was conducted 1 year after surgery.

RESULTS Of 378 children undergoing nasolacrimal duct probing, 23 met the inclusion criteria of being older than age 18 months (18 to 48 months). Seventy percent of the 23 children had a good outcome from the probing procedure. When analyzed by the type of obstruction, 12 of the 12 children (100%) with a simple membrane at the valve of Hasner had a good outcome. This contrasted with a success rate of 4 of 11 children (36%) who had complicated obstructions (p < 0.01). Complicated nasolacrimal duct obstructions were more prevalent in older children.

CONCLUSION A simple probing of the nasolacrimal duct has an excellent success rate in children up to 4 years old if an uncomplicated obstruction is found at the valve of Hasner.