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Visual Outcomes of Patients With Retrobulbar Hemorrhage Undergoing Lateral Canthotomy and Cantholysis.

PURPOSE: Evaluate visual outcomes in relation to time from injury to intervention in patients who undergo lateral canthotomy with cantholysis (LCC) for retrobulbar hemorrhage (RBH).

METHODS: Retrospective study of patients with orbital compartment syndrome (OCS) secondary to RBH who underwent LCC. OCS due to RBH was defined by a combination of decreased vision, proptosis, resistance to retropulsion, increased intraocular pressure, and relative afferent pupillary defect. Time from injury to intervention and change in visual acuity were calculated, with regression analysis identifying predictors of vision recovery.

RESULTS: Fifteen participants were included. Three (20%) participants presented with no light perception, 7 (47%) with count fingers (CF) to light perception, and 5 (33%) with better than count fingers vision. All 5 participants who had LCC within 3 hours (twice the standard 90 minutes) gained some vision, and 6 of 10 participants who had LCC after 3 hours recovered some vision. The latest intervention with visual acuity improvement was performed 9 hours postinjury. Of 3 participants who presented with no light perception vision, 1 regained vision to 20/40 (intervention 1.7 hours postinjury), and 2 did not regain any vision (interventions at 5 and 8.7 hours postinjury). Duration from injury to intervention was associated with decreased amount of vision recovery (P = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: Increased time to intervention with LCC was associated with less vision recovery after OCS from RBH. However, over half of participants with intervention more than 90 minutes after injury still showed visual acuity improvement. The authors recommend LCC in all patients who present with OCS regardless of the time since injury.Patients with orbital compartment syndrome may see visual recovery after lateral canthotomy and cantholysis, even if performed outside of the previously accepted 3-hour window.

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