PENETRATING EYE INJURIES IN YOUNG CHILDREN

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Abstract

Background:

Penetrating eye injuries remain an important cause of blindness among children.

Methods:

Thirty consecutive children, nine years of age or younger, were treated for penetrating eye injuries. Twenty-two (73%) of those patients studied were male and 8 (17%) were female. The average age of the patients was 4.6 years. Sharp objects accounted for the majority of injuries (83%). Twenty (66%) eyes required only primary repair and 10 (33%) eyes required secondary lensectomy and vitreous surgery, which was done within 10 days of the primary repair. Length of follow-up ranged from 6 months to 48 months, and 5 patients were lost to follow-up.

Results:

Visual acuity of 20/40 or better was achieved in 13 (72%) of the 18 patients requiring only primary repair. Stereopsis was present in 13 (87%) of these patients. Of those patients that underwent secondary lensectomy with anterior or pars plana vitrectomy, 42% had visual acuity of 20/100 or better. None had stereopsis.

Conclusion:

Young children with penetrating eye injuries requiring only primary repair may achieve excellent visual recovery, whereas those with traumatic cataract necessitating lensectomy and vitreous surgery have a less favorable outcome because of more severe injury and subsequent amblyopia.

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