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Open globe injuries: Emergency evaluation and initial management

Christopher M Andreoli, MD
Matthew F Gardiner, MD
Section Editors
Richard G Bachur, MD
Evelyn A Paysse, MD
Maria E Moreira, MD
Deputy Editor
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH


This topic will discuss the clinical features, evaluation, and management of patients with suspected open globe injuries.

An overview and approach to other eye injuries in the emergency department is provided separately. (See "Overview of eye injuries in the emergency department" and "Approach to eye injuries in the emergency department".)


Open globe injuries are described by mechanism and then by anatomic site [1,2].

Open globe rupture — Open globe rupture occurs following blunt eye injury, typically at the site of greatest structural weakness near the equator and directly behind the insertion of the rectus muscles. (picture 1) [1]. (See 'Pathophysiology' below.)

Open globe laceration — Open globe laceration refers to a penetrating injury to the eye by a sharp object or projectile and is further subclassified as penetrating (entry wound but no exit wound) or perforating (entry and exit wounds) [1]. Intraocular foreign body (IOFB) injuries refer to a foreign body present anywhere inside the interior of the globe and are grouped separately because studies have shown that they have a different prognosis (picture 2) [3,4].

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 17, 2017.
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