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Orbit. 2018 Aug 20:1-5. doi: 10.1080/01676830.2018.1509097. [Epub ahead of print]

Association between pre- and intraorbital soft tissue volumes and the risk of orbital blowout fractures using CT-based volumetric measurements.

Author information

1
a Department of Ophthalmology , University of Washington , Seattle , Washington , USA.
2
b Department of Ophthalmology , University of Alabama Birmingham , Birmingham , Alabama , USA.
3
c Department of Radiology , University of Washington , Seattle , Washington , USA.
4
d Harvard School of Public Health , Boston , Massachusetts , USA.
5
e Department of Radiology , Straub Clinic and Hospital , Honolulu , Hawaii , USA.
6
f Department of Mechanical Engineering , University of Washington , Seattle , Washington , USA.
7
g Seattle Face and Skin , Seattle , Washington , USA.

Abstract

Orbital blowout fractures result from trauma which breaks the bony orbital wall while sparing the rim. Previous research into fracture mechanism has focused on bony anatomy. This study evaluates the role of preorbital and intraorbital soft tissue volume in fracture risk. A retrospective case-control study was conducted on 51 cases of adults with unilateral orbital blowout fracture, matched to 51 controls who had experienced orbital trauma by comparable mechanisms without sustaining a fracture. Axial Computed Tomography (CT) images with orbital fine cuts were assessed on a 3D post-processing workstation to measure the volume of the pre- and intraorbital soft tissues, then compared between the two groups using Mann-Whitney U analysis. In the case group, there were 40 males (78%), injured by assault (66%), fall (12%), motor vehicle collision (10%), or other cause (12%). The control group included 33 males (65%), injured by assault (55%), fall (22%), motor vehicle (4%), or other cause (20%). There was no significant difference in mechanism rates between case and control groups. Median preorbital volumes were 12.5 cm3 in the case group and14.1 cm3 in controls (p = 0.02). Median intraorbital volumes were 24.4 cm3 in the case group and 25.9 cm3 in controls (p = 0.003). CT volumetric analysis shows that patients who sustained blowout fractures have lower preorbital and intraorbital soft tissue volume than those who did not fracture. This underscores the significant role that soft tissues play in dissipating impact forces, both anterior to the orbital rim and within the orbit itself.

KEYWORDS:

Orbital blowout fracture; orbital fracture risk reduction; orbital volume; orbital volumetric analysis

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