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Intraocular pressure changes in emergent surgical decompression of orbital compartment syndrome.

IMPORTANCE: Orbital compartment syndrome is an acute rise in intraorbital volume resulting in increased intraorbital pressure and possible ischemic compromise of the optic nerve. Tonometric pressure measurement of intraocular pressure can aid surgeons in the diagnosis of this condition and in choosing the need to proceed with emergent surgical intervention. In addition, we present an unexpected cause of orbital compartment syndrome following routine frontal sinus irrigation.

OBSERVATIONS: An emergent lateral canthotomy and cantholysis followed by endoscopic medial wall decompression were performed, with intraocular pressure measurements performed throughout the evolution of this successful, and vision sparing, set of procedures. The techniques and continuous improvements in intraocular pressure measurements are described.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: There are only rare reports of the progression of intraocular pressure prior to, and concurrent with, surgical orbital decompression. While no absolute threshold for intraocular pressure exists for when surgical decompression should be performed, the decision of when and which decompression procedures to undertake should be based on clinical judgment and experience. Availability of tonometry in the operating room serves to measure response to management in these rare but challenging settings where intervention may be required to prevent irreversible visual loss.

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