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February 1980

Orbital Abscess

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Jules Stein Eye Institute, University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine (Drs Krohel, Krauss, and Christensen), and the Estelle Doheny Eye Foundation (Dr Minckler), Los Angeles. Dr Krohel is now with the Albany Medical College, Albany, NY.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1980;98(2):274-276. doi:10.1001/archopht.1980.01020030270004

• A staphylococcal orbital abscess developed in a 55-year-old diabetic woman. Initial antibiotic therapy was apparently incomplete and resulted in an unusual clinical manifestation for an orbital infection. These unusual features included an insidious course of monocular visual loss and proptosis in the absence of fever, substantial orbital pain, and evidence of sinus disease; pancytopenia rather than leukocytosis was present. Surgical drainage followed by intravenous and oral antibiotic therapy resulted in marked clinical improvement, including a partial return of visual acuity. In the patient, however, a staphylococcal osteomyelitis of the shoulder and subsequent fatal septicemia developed several months later. Orbital infection continues to be a life-threatening condition, especially in debilitated patients.

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