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J Korean Med Sci. 2013 Feb;28(2):340-3. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2013.28.2.340. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

A case of odontogenic orbital cellulitis causing blindness by severe tension orbit.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, The Catholic University of Korea, Suwon, Korea.


We report a very rare case of odontogenic orbital cellulitis causing blindness by severe tension orbit. A 41-yr old male patient had visited the hospital due to severe periorbital swelling and nasal stuffiness while he was treated for a periodontal abscess. He was diagnosed with odontogenic sinusitis and orbital cellulitis, and treated with antibiotics. The symptoms were aggravated and emergency sinus drainage was performed. On the next day, a sudden decrease in vision occurred with findings of ischemic optic neuropathy and central retinal artery occlusion. Deformation of the eyeball posterior pole into a cone shape was found from the orbital CT. A high-dose steroid was administered immediately resulting in improvements of periorbital swelling, but the patient's vision had not recovered. Odontogenic orbital cellulitis is relatively rare, but can cause blindness via rapidly progressing tension orbit. Therefore even the simplest of dental problems requires careful attention.


Central Retinal Artery Obstruction; Ischemic Optic Neuropathy; Odontogenic Orbital Cellulitis; Tension Orbit

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