Intraocular foreign bodies on the Island of Sealand, a preventable serious eye disease

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To estimate the incidence of ocular injuries with retained intraocular foreign bodies (IOFBs) in the Eastern region of Denmark, and presenting data on aetiology, management, functional and anatomical outcome of these injuries.


Search in the national database registry from January 2001 to December 2006 (6 years). Data from matching patient records was recorded. Relevant patients were asked to participate in a late follow-up clinical examination


32 patients met inclusion criteria. 69% (22/32) patients participated in a final follow-up examination, and data on the remainder was acquired through relevant patient records at various national clinics. Average follow-up time was 5 years, 4 months. Estimated incidence of IOFBs in Eastern Denmark identified in this study was 0.154 per 100,000. All patients were male. Hammering was the most common mechanism of injury, occurring in 66% of patients. Endophthalmitis was diagnosed in 6% of patients at presentation. Best-corrected visual acuity of the injured eye at final follow-up was 0.5 or better in 47%, 0.5 to 0.1 in 19%, and worse than 0.1 in 34%. Anatomical success, defined as an attached retina and no intravitreal silicon oil, was achieved in 83%.


The incidence of IOFBs in Denmark seems to be on par with similar recent studies. The demographics are typical for this type of ocular injury. A high rate of anatomical vitreoretinal success was achieved, while a good long term visual function was achieved in half the cases. A considerable proportion of patients sustain severe long-term visual loss in the injured eye despite modern intraocular surgical techniques. Prevention through simple measures remains the mainstay of dealing with this typically work-related and serious eye injury.

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