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January 1965

Orbital Growth After Unilateral Enucleation in Childhood

Author Affiliations

Teaching Fellows in Ophthalmology (Drs. Howard and Kinder) and Instructor in Radiology (Dr. Macmillan, Jr.), of the Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.; From the Department of Ophthalmology (Drs. Howard and Kinder) and the Department of Radiology (Dr. Macmillan, Jr.) of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1965;73(1):80-83. doi:10.1001/archopht.1965.00970030082016

Among the apparent truisms in ophthalmology, there is one, at least, which requires close scrutiny. This is the belief that orbital growth is checked following enucleation in childhood, resulting in more or less maldevelopment and facial asymmetry depending upon the age at which enucleation was performed.1-3 In an attempt to test this hypothesis, a follow-up study was carried out upon adults who had had one eye removed in early life.

Historical Note  In 1898, a Committee of the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom reported that one of the disadvantages of simple excision of the eyeball was "faulty development of the orbit and face on the side from which the eye has been removed when the operation has been performed in early life."4 Thomson, in 1901, reported the results of a study in which he had enucleated one eye of several 21-day-old rabbits.5 Autopsy upon six of

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