Success rates of lateral canthotomy and cantholysis for treatment of orbital compartment syndrome

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N. Maxwell Scoville, MD
Leona Ding, MS
Andrew W. Stacey, MD

Abstract

Introduction
Vision loss after facial trauma can occur from orbital compartment syndrome (OCS). Orbital compartment syndrome is commonly treated surgically with a lateral canthotomy and cantholysis (C&C). Our study investigates success rates of lateral C&C for the treatment of OCS amongst emergency medicine (EM) and ophthalmology providers.
Methods
A retrospective cohort study was performed. Cases were identified and the electronic medical record of patients was interrogated for clinical and procedural information. Success of a lateral C&C was defined as a decrease in intraocular pressure (IOP) to <30 mm Hg after the first attempt at the procedure. Inclusion criteria included documentation of a procedural attempt, a pre-procedure IOP >30 mm Hg and a post-procedure IOP measurement; or alternatively if no pre-procedure IOP was documented but the IOP was >30 mm Hg on arrival to the level 1 trauma center. Exclusion criteria included periprocedural use of ocular hypotensive medications and comorbid hyphema.
Results
The final analysis included 74 eyes from 64 patients. Emergency medicine providers performed the initial lateral C&C in 68% of cases compared to 32% by ophthalmologists, and success rates were comparable—68% versus 79%, respectively (P = 0.413). Poorer visual outcomes were associated with the initial failure of a lateral C&C and head trauma without an orbital fracture. All patients treated with a vertical lid split procedure met the criteria for “success” as defined by this study.
Conclusions
The success rate of a lateral C&C is comparable amongst EM and ophthalmology providers. Initial failure of a lateral C&C is associated with worse visual outcomes. Improved training of physicians on the lateral C&C or other simpler procedures, such as the vertical lid split, could improve outcomes in OCS.

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How to Cite
1.
Scoville NM, Ding L, Stacey AW. Success rates of lateral canthotomy and cantholysis for treatment of orbital compartment syndrome. Digit J Ophthalmol. 2024;30. Accessed July 21, 2024. https://djo.harvard.edu/index.php/djo/article/view/1096
Section
Abstracts