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Ophthalmology. 1991 Jul;98(7):1017-24.

Needle penetration of the globe during retrobulbar and peribulbar injections.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, FL 33136.


The charts of 23 patients with needle penetration of the globe during retrobulbar or peribulbar injections between January 1980 and May 1990 were reviewed. Possible needle penetration risk factors included high myopia, previous scleral buckling procedures, injection by nonophthalmologists, and poor patient cooperation during the injection. Of the 23 cases of ocular penetration, 16 (70%) were from sharp (22-, 23-, and 25-gauge) needles, and 7 (30%) were from blunt (23- and 25-gauge) needles. Management options depended on the severity of the intraocular injury. Retinal breaks without retinal detachment were treated by laser photocoagulation (four cases) or cryopexy (one case) and were observed in three cases. More advanced complications (retinal detachment and vitreous hemorrhage) were usually treated by pars plana vitrectomy with or without a scleral buckle (12 of 14 cases). The final visual acuity was 20/400 or better in only 2 of the 14 retinal detachment cases. In cases without retinal detachment, the final visual acuity was 20/50 or better in 7 of 9 cases.

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