Bedside ocular ultrasound in the emergency department

Bret A Kilker, John M Holst, Beatrice Hoffmann
European Journal of Emergency Medicine: Official Journal of the European Society for Emergency Medicine 2014, 21 (4): 246-53
The use of point-of-care ultrasound in the emergency department has expanded considerably in recent years, allowing enhanced evaluation of the patient with an emergent eye or vision complaint. The technique is simple and quick to perform, and can yield clinical information that may not be readily obtainable through physical or slit-lamp exams. Ocular bedside sonography can aid in the diagnosis of retinal and vitreous hemorrhage, retinal and vitreous detachments, ocular infections, foreign bodies, retrobulbar hematoma, or ocular vascular pathology. Optic nerve sheath diameter can be measured in patients with a suspected intracranial process as a surrogate for intracranial pressure, and may aid emergency diagnosis and management. This article reviews common emergency ophthalmic pathologies diagnosed with ultrasound in the emergency setting and a mnemonic for the use of bedside ocular ultrasound is proposed to aid in thoroughly scanning the eye and its surrounding structures.

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