Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 209-210
Periorbital swelling in emergency room: Get your eyes in


Department of Accident, Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Sri Gokulam Hospital and Research Institute, Salem, India

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Date of Submission07-Mar-2009
Date of Acceptance25-Mar-2009
Date of Web Publication31-Aug-2009
 

   Abstract 

Facial swelling and eye pain are very common patient complaints in Emergency Departments. Clinical evidence and investigations play a crucial role in making the correct diagnosis which impacts the final disposition and management of the patient. We present a case of a patient who presented with facial swelling and headache.

Keywords: Facial swelling, headache, eye pain

How to cite this article:
SenthilKumaran S, Balamurgan N, Arthanari K, Thirumalaikolundusubramanian P. Periorbital swelling in emergency room: Get your eyes in. J Emerg Trauma Shock 2009;2:209-10

How to cite this URL:
SenthilKumaran S, Balamurgan N, Arthanari K, Thirumalaikolundusubramanian P. Periorbital swelling in emergency room: Get your eyes in. J Emerg Trauma Shock [serial online] 2009 [cited 2014 Dec 22];2:209-10. Available from: http://www.onlinejets.org/text.asp?2009/2/3/209/55349


A 48-year-old diabetic and normotensive male patient presented to the emergency department with severe headache and vomiting with sudden onset of right facial swelling. He gave history of head injury with epistaxis three weeks ago. On examination he was irritable, febrile and tachycardic. His right side ocular examination [Figure 1] revealed lid edema, narrow palpebral aperture, chemosis, and marked restriction of ocular motility out of proportion to the degree of proptosis. There was loss of pupillary light reflex. Fundus examination revealed low-grade optic disc edema with dilated retinal veins. His visual acuity was reduced. The contralateral eye was normal. In view of headache and eye swelling, a preliminary diagnosis of cavernous sinus thrombosis was made and later the patient was subjected to MRI to confirm the same.

Contrast-enhanced MRI [Figure 2] demonstrated a meningeal enhancement consistent with meningitis, swollen non-enhancing cavernous sinus and narrowed internal carotid artery; this was consistent with the diagnosis of cavernous sinus thrombosis (CVT).


   Discussion Top


Cavernous sinus thrombosis commonly results from contiguous spread of infection from the sinuses or middle third of the face. Other causes include trauma to the face, dental abscess or orbital cellulites. Approximately 70% of infections are caused by Staphylococcus aureus.

Headache [1] is the most common presenting symptom and periorbital edema may be the earliest physical sign. Cavernous sinus thrombosis is a clinical diagnosis and laboratory studies are seldom specific; however, magnetic resonance imaging with magnetic resonance venogram [2] is the preferred imaging choice to confirm its presence and to differentiate it from alternatives, such as orbital cellulites, acute angle closure glaucoma and carotid artery fistula. The mainstay of therapy is early and aggressive intravenous antimicrobial administration. Corticosteroids may help to reduce inflammation and edema. The use of anticoagulation for CVT is still a controversy. [3] Cavernous sinus thrombosis should be treated as a relative emergency as they have fulminant course with high rates of morbidity and mortality.


   Conclusion Top


The case summarizes success secondary to a high index of suspicion based on the clinical examination and results from imaging. CVT management if done in time can heavily impact positive outcomes.


   Acknowledgements Top


Mr. V. Chakravarthy, Manager, IT & EDP, Sri Gokulam Hospital and Research Institute, Salem, for his secretarial assistance.

 
   References Top

1.J. Zimmer, J. Bhatt, J. H. Conway, M. Edwards-Brown & D. K. Sokol : Is It All In His Head? . The Internet Journal of Pediatrics and Neonatology. 2006; 6: 1  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Igarashi H, Igarashi S, Fujio N, Fukui K, Yoshida A. Magnetic resonance imaging in the early diagnosis of cavernous sinus thrombosis. Ophthalmologica 1995;209:292-6.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]    
3.Bhatia K, Jones NS. Septic cavernous sinus thrombosis secondary to sinusitis: Are anticoagulants indicated? A review of the literature. J Laryngol Otol 2002;116:667-76.  Back to cited text no. 3      

Top
Correspondence Address:
S SenthilKumaran
Department of Accident, Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Sri Gokulam Hospital and Research Institute, Salem
India
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DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.55349

PMID: 20009315

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