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Ophthalmology. 1999 Dec;106(12):2330-5.

Orbital helical computed tomography in the diagnosis and management of eye trauma.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Vienna, Austria.



To prospectively determine the accuracy of helical computed tomography (CT) and multiplanar reconstruction and its value in surgical planning for the management of ocular trauma with suspected intraocular and orbital foreign bodies using surgical and clinical follow-up findings as the gold standard.


Prospective, observational case series.


Thirty-six patients with ocular trauma and suspected foreign bodies were studied.


All patients were examined using a standardized scanning protocol with helical CT direct scanning in the axial plane and multiplanar reconstruction of coronal and sagittal planes.


The images were analyzed for the presence and number of intraocular and orbital foreign bodies, anatomic location, and foreign body size. The surgical and clinical follow-up findings (contact lens examination, gonioscopy, indirect ophthalmoscopy and scleral depression, perimetry, color testing, measurement of size) were used as the gold standard to which the image results were compared.


Helical CT showed a single intraocular foreign body in 14 patients, a single orbital foreign body in 9 patients, and multiple orbital foreign bodies in 2 patients. Intraocular or orbital foreign bodies were excluded in 11 patients. Twenty foreign bodies were correlated with surgical results. Surgical and clinical follow-up findings were in agreement with helical CT results regarding the detection and determination of the number of presumed foreign bodies. Localization to intraocular versus orbital compartment and proximity to the optic nerve was accurate in all patients. Determination of size of the foreign bodies on the helical CT images was reliable and repeatable.


Helical CT axial scanning with multiplanar reconstruction is accurate at detecting and localizing intraocular and orbital metallic, glass, and stone foreign bodies. This imaging method aids the surgeon in choosing the surgical approach to retained intraocular and orbital foreign bodies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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