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J AAPOS. 2013 Dec;17(6):565-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jaapos.2013.07.007. Epub 2013 Nov 9.

Pediatric traumatic hyphema: a review of 138 consecutive cases.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, Colorado.



To report the demographics and outcomes in children (<18 years of age) who developed hyphema from ocular trauma and were subsequently cared for at a tertiary medical center.


The medical records of consecutive patients seen at Children's Hospital Colorado diagnosed with traumatic hyphema between September 1, 2003, and December 31, 2011, were retrospectively reviewed. The following data were recorded: patient age, parent/guardian-reported ethnicity, sex, injury location, visual acuity, and intraocular pressure (IOP) at presentation and follow-up.


A total of 138 cases of unilateral hyphema were included, with 88% occurring in boys (mean age, 10.1 years; range, 1-19). Over 90% of injuries occurred in the home setting, with the most common mechanisms of injury being general play, projectiles from guns, and sports injuries occurring during games or practice. Only 3 patients had visual acuity <20/40 at 1 month's follow-up, and no patient experienced a rebleeding event. Most of the 33 patients with elevated IOP were managed medically; 4 (12%) required surgery.


The majority of children with traumatic hyphema in this patient cohort were injured in the home setting. Very few patients underwent surgery for ocular hypertension, but higher IOP at presentation was associated with the need for surgical intervention. Outpatient care with activity restriction and topical medications usually led to resolution of hyphema without serious complications or visual loss.

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