What's the diagnosis? By Dr. Loran Hatch

A 45 yo male was an unrestrained driver who rear-ended a tractor trailor while he was traveling 40mph. Airbags deployed.  He denies LOC and ambulated at the scene.  On exam, he has right pupil irregularity with only light/dark perception.  CT of head and facial bones are done.  What's the diagnosis?  Scroll down for answer.





Answer:  Globe rupture

  • Blunt or penetrating trauma causes sudden increase in intraocular pressure
  • On exam patient may have decreased visual acuity, irregular or teardrop shaped pupil, afferent pupillary defect, hyphema, positive Seidel's sign (anterior chamber leaks fluorescein stain), lens dislocation, and, or, a subconjunctival hemorrhage
  • When suspected : do not measure intraocular pressure, cover eye with protective shield, consult ophthalmology immediately
  • Treatment includes broad spectrum antibiotics (eg. IV cefazolin + IV moxifloxacin or IV levofloxacin), analgesics, antiemetics (prevent increased IOP with vomiting), tetanus immunization





Walker RA, Adhikari S. "Eye Emergencies." Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide, 8eEds. Judith E. Tintinalli, et al. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2016, pg 1568-69