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Classic Papers in Glaucoma

edited by: R. Ritch & R.M. Caronia

Price: € 50.00 / US $ 62.50

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Publication details: Book. 2000. viii and 439 pages. Publication date: 2000-01-27. 269 figures and 72 tables. Hardbound A4 format

ISBN: 978-90-6299-160-0 (ISBN 10: 90-6299-160-2; Kugler Publications)

Also available as ebook



At the beginning of the 20th century, our knowledge about glaucoma was truly rudimentary. Since then, it has grown to become a field of its own and, in the past decade, our concepts about its pathogenesis and potential avenues of future therapy have taken a quantum leap forward. It was not until the 1990s that the extent of non-pressure dependent risk factors for glaucoma became widely appreciated. Investigations into the role of ischemia and alternatives to pressure-lowering therapy, such as neuroprotective agents, have become the most recent area of focus. The next generation should see many breakthroughs – new means of lowering intra-ocular pressure, genetic manipulation of trabecular function, transplantation, gene transfer therapy, and elimination of distinct anterior segment disorders, which lead to trabecular damage. Reversal of blindness, whether through retinal ganglion cell regeneration or transplantation or artificial eyes, will likely become a reality. This book is a testimony to our origins. It is a compilation of papers which, in retrospect, opened new avenues to the understanding and treatment of glaucoma. In order to be "classic", articles had to have been published prior to 1988. Each article is preceded by a brief introduction, placing it in the perspective of the times and describing how it affected future work in the field. We hope that this composite of classic papers will allow us to reflect on our past in order to lead us into the future, and that it will give the next generation of glaucomatologists a perspective on the past.

R. Ritch and R. Caronia
Table of Contents

Table of Contents


W.F. Hoyt, L. Frisén and N.M. Newman,Fundoscopy of Nerve Fiber Layer Defects in Glaucoma

D.R. Anderson and A. Hendrickson,
Effect of Intraocular Pressure on Rapid Axoplasmic Transport in Monkey Optic Nerve

A. Bill, Blood Circulation and Fluid Dynamics in the Eye

A. Heijl, Automatic Perimetry in Glaucoma Visual Field Screening. A Clinical Study

T. Krupin, S.M. Podos, B. Becker and J.B. Newkirk, Valve Implants in Filtering Surgery

I.P. Pollack and A. Patz, Argon Laser Iridotomy. An Experimental and Clinical Study

F. Fankhauser, J. Spahr and H. Bebié, Some Aspects of the Automation of Perimetry

T.J. Zimmerman and H.E. Kaufman, Timolol. A b-Adrenergic Blocking Agent for the Treatment of Glaucoma

R.L. Coakes and R.F. Brubaker, The Mechanism of Timolol in Lowering Intraocular Pressure. In the Normal Eye

D.G. Campbell, Pigmentary Dispersion and Glaucoma. A New Theory

J.B. Wise and S.L. Witter, Argon Laser Therapy for Open-Angle Glaucoma. A Pilot Study

H.A. Quigley, E.M. Addicks and W.R. Green, Optic Nerve Damage in Human Glaucoma. III. Quantitative Correlation of Nerve Fiber Loss and Visual Field Defect in Glaucoma, Ischemic Neuropathy, Papilledema, and Toxic Neuropathy

R. Ritch, Argon Laser Treatment for Medically Unresponsive Attacks of Angle-Closure Glaucoma

C.-W. Chen, Enhanced Intraocular Pressure Controlling Effectiveness of Trabeculectomy by Local Application of Mitomycin C

M.B. Shields, Axenfeld-Rieger, Syndrome. A Theory of Mechanism and Distinctions from the Iridocorneal Endothelial Syndrome

R.N. Weinreb, E. Bloom, J.D. Baxter, J. Alvarado, N. Lan, J. O’Donnell and J.R.
, Detection of Glucocorticoid Receptors in Cultured Human Trabecular Cells

K. Crawford and P.L. Kaufman, Pilocarpine Antagonizes Prostaglandin F 2a-Induced Ocular Hypotension in Monkeys. Evidence for Enhancement of Uveoscleral Outflow by Prostaglandin F2a

Index of authors


Book reviews

Review published in Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology - vol. 36, no. 1, 2001

Four-star rating
Presentation ***
Depth ***
Understandability ***
Clinical applicability ***
Up-to-datedness Not applicable
Value ****

As implied by its title, this book is a chronologic compilation of some of the most groundbreaking and innovative articles in the field of glaucoma, starting with the earliest descriptions of glaucoma, by von Graefe in 1857. It runs through many of the original papers describing  new instruments (tonometry, tonography, automated perimetry), new surgical techniques of the time (from the initial iridectomy procedures to full-thickness filtering procedures to guarded filtering procedures), new pharmaceutical agents, and new pathological and physiologic information that we now take for granted. Each article is preceded by a useful commentary putting the reader in the proper frame of mind for the time when the article was written and indicating how it affected future work in the field.
The articles were selected by 14 glaucomatologists, and each is written by a pioneer in his or her field (maximum one article per author). Some of the articles are lengthy yet eloquent descriptions of new clinical findings (e.g., "The aqueous veins" by Ascher, 1942), but most are concise reports of interesting developments in the field. The book is filled with numerous pearls for the general ophthalmologist as well as for the seasoned glaucoma specialist and provides insight as to how  treatments evolved. It is, in a sense, a history of important events leading to our current understanding of the glaucomas. It gives the reader a historical perspective as to the origins of our knowledge as well as ideas for future directions in therapy and research in glaucoma. I would highly recommend this book to glaucoma fellows and specialists and also to any ophthalmologist dealing with patients with glaucoma. The editors have been successful in their quest to produce a volume that allows us to reflect on our past in order to direct us into the future.

Robert L. Chevrier, MD. FRCSC 
University of Ottawa 
Ottawa, Ont.

Archives of Ophthalmology - vol 119, P. 460, March 2001

Classic Papers in Glaucoma, as the name implies, is a collection of landmark papers related to the understanding and management of glaucoma. The collection was compiled by editors Robert Ritch, MD, and Ronald M. Caronia, MD, by surveying 20 of North America's leading glaucoma specialists. The 40 papers included in this book were the most popular among the respondent specialists. The paper had to be at least 10 years old at the time of polling to be considered a classic.
    The scope of this collection is enormous and spans 130 years, from 1857 to 1987. The papers are presented in chronological order. Each paper is preceded by a concise 1- to 2- page introduction, which puts the study into perspective by commenting on the existing knowledge at the time it was written. It also explains what makes the paper a classic. Some of these introductions contain a short reference section that includes other relevant works on the topic.
    The book begins with von Graefe's brilliant paper on Iridectomy in Glaucoma, "The Glaucomatous Process." This paper classified glaucomas as they were understood at the time (1857), and it popularized iridectomy as a treatment for some types of glaucoma. Tonometry is presented through the work of Schiotz in the early part of the 20th century, to that of Goldmann in the 1950s. 
    Advances in filtration procedures are shown to evolve from the full thickness procedures of the late 1800s and early 1900s to the trabeculectomy with mitomycin C and the valved implants of the later part of the 20th century. Landmark papers on aqueous humor dynamics, the mechanism of drug actions, argon laser iridotomy, trabeculoplasty and iridoplasty, and automated perimetry are presented. Other works cover the pathogenesis and treatment of congenital and malignant glaucoma and describe steroid-induced ocular hypertension as well as some of the secondary glaucomas. Also included are studies that outlined observations of the optic nerve and anterior chamber angle; studies that are now, for the most part, taken for granted.
    The premise of most textbooks is to present the most up-to-date information and treatment available. Obviously, that is not the purpose of this work. The real value of this book is that it allows glaucoma specialists to appreciate how current concepts and therapies have developed through the work of many of the great minds that came before us. To have a clear idea of where glaucoma specialists are going, we need to have an understanding of where the study of glaucoma has been. This book nicely provides such perspective.
    Classic Papers in Glaucoma would be appropriate for anyone with a historical interest in glaucoma. It would be especially useful to residents and glaucoma fellows, as well as those who are involved in scientific research related to ophthalmology.

David H. Marshall, MD Ottawa, Ontario

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