Hasbro Children's Hospital research identifies criteria for medical management of pediatric orbital cellulitis
Researchers from Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, R.I., report that medical management may be preferred over surgery for children with orbital cellulitis, an acute infection of the tissues surrounding the eye. They have determined the criteria for surgical intervention should be dependent upon the size of a subperiosteal abscess (SPA). The research is published in the journal Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and is now available online in advance of print.
Orbital cellulitis is most often the result of bacteria from a sinus infection, but may also be caused by a stye, a bug bite or a recent injury to the eyelid. It requires immediate medical attention to avoid further complications such as meningitis or loss of vision. In some cases, the infection will progress to a SPA. In these cases, surgery to drain the abscess and antibiotic therapy has been the usual course of treatment.
Through new research, Yoash Enzer, M.D., an ophthalmologist with Hasbro Children's Hospital, has found that the size of the abscess should be a determining factor in whether surgery is required for treatment. In his study the charts of 29 patients were reviewed; eight were managed surgically and 21 were managed medically. Frontal sinusitis was found in 11 of 17 patients who had CT scans, and four of those patients underwent surgical drainage, but only two of those patients showed positive culture results. Those two patients had an SPA volume that was greater than 1,250 millimeters.
Enzer says, "The management of pediatric orbital cellulitis with an SPA has been largely surgical until the early 1990s when it was suggested that simple, aerobic infections were found in children under age nine, while older children had more complex microbial infections. In our study, however, patients both under nine and over nine required surgical intervention when the SPA volumes were greater than 1,250 millimeters."