Recognition and Management of Acute Dacryocystic Retention

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Purpose:Acute noninfectious dacryocystic retention is an under-recognized condition heralded by painful lacrimal sac swelling, obstruction, and epiphora. This longitudinal chart review aimed to estimate the incidence of this condition in an urban Australian population, while further defining the signs and symptoms of the disease and options for management.Methods:We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 1,593 consecutive patients presenting with acquired nasolacrimal duct obstruction and epiphora between 1990 and 2015. The records of patients with acute dacryocystic retention were analyzed for age, gender, clinical features, and management.Results:Of all patients presenting with nasolacrimal duct obstruction, 20 were found to have acute dacryocystic retention. The mean age was 42.2 ± 9.3. There was an equal distribution of laterality, and only 2 cases (10%) were bilateral. There was a statistically significant female predominance, and most patients presented reporting 2 to 3 previous episodes. At presentation, 30% of patients reported spontaneous passage of a dacryolith. Despite this, 70% of affected patients required surgical management, with a 64% incidence of stones noted at the time of dacryocystorhinostomy.Conclusions:Acute dacryocystic retention is an uncommon, but even less frequently identified condition, most common in middle-aged women. Improved understanding of this condition and its natural history is likely to enhance patient counseling and avoid ineffective use of antibiotics in affected patients.

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