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November 1973

Changes in Orbital Dimensions Following Enucleation

Arch Ophthalmol. 1973;90(5):393-395. doi:10.1001/archopht.1973.01000050395013

Studies on the effect of enucleation on orbital volume in humans have been retrospective and may not be truly accurate. Prospective studies in rabbits and cats have been inappropriate when applied to humans since their orbits are incomplete in contrast to the closed human orbit. Because of their closed orbits, sheep were chosen as a model for humans. An additional advantage is their rapid skeletal maturation. Five lambs underwent enucleation of one eye between 7 and 21 days of age. The other eye served as a control. Animals were killed after full maturation. Comparing the orbital volume of each side using the orbital imprint method revealed the enucleated side averaged 35% smaller than the control side. If possible, the ophthalmologist should postpone elective enucleation until orbital bone maturation is complete.