Clinical implications of orbital cellulitis

Published on May 1, 1986in Laryngoscope2.465
· DOI :10.1288/00005537-198605000-00018
Keith Jackson2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UM: University of Michigan),
Shan R. Baker46
Estimated H-index: 46
(UM: University of Michigan)
Periorbital and orbital cellulitis are clearly two distinct disorders with different etiologies. Periorbital cellulitis is well-documented as a more common infectious process limited to the eyelids in the preseptal region. In contrast, orbital cellulitis represents a more severe, but less common, infection of the orbit posterior to the septum with or without subperiosteal abscess, orbital abscess, or cavernous sinus thrombosis. A retrospective review of the clinical and laboratory data of 137 cases of orbital and periorbital cellulitis was performed. Periorbital cellulitis was documented in 98 cases (71%), in contrast to orbital cellulitis which was noted in 39 (28%) patients. All patients with orbital cellulitis received intravenous antibiotics, however, surgical therapy was necessary for progression of orbital cellulitis in 49% of patients. The majority of patients underwent incision and drainage of an abscess in the orbit. Complications as a result of orbital cellulitis occurred in nine (23%) of the patients. A distinction is made between the clinical entity of periorbital cellulitis and orbital cellulitis. Separating these clinical entities on the basis of physical examination and radiographic studies is important because the medical and surgical management of these two disease processes is different.
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