Gunshot wound to the eye and orbit: A descriptive case series and literature review

Guy J. Ben Simon*, Joseph Moisseiev, Nachum Rosen, Amir Alhalel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND:: The objective of this study is to report ocular and orbital findings in a series of six patients (8 eyes) with gunshot wounds and to review the literature on the pathophysiology, management, and outcome of such patients. METHODS:: Retrospective case series and review of the literature. Main outcome measures were ocular and orbital injury, surgical intervention, and presenting and final visual acuity. RESULTS:: Six male patients (mean age, 32 years) were enrolled. Three patients with globe concussion and low presenting visual acuity were treated by observation. Two patients (25%) underwent primary enucleation or evisceration. Retinal detachment developed in one patient who had a globe perforation, and he underwent vitrectomy and lensectomy with silicone oil injection. Visual acuity remained unchanged in all but one patient who underwent retinal detachment surgery. Final visual acuity was poor in all patients, with five eyes ending in no perception of light. Four patients had orbital fractures, two of whom underwent orbital reconstruction. One of these patients also underwent drainage of orbital abscess, eyelid surgery, and a dacryocystorhinostomy. The mean follow-up time was 26 months. CONCLUSIONS:: Gunshot wounds to the eye and orbit cause severe open and closed ocular injuries with guarded outcome and poor visual acuity. When feasible, initial wound closure may preserve the globe and allow further surgical rehabilitation. Primary evisceration may be required in cases of a severely ruptured globe. Orbital surgery may be needed in cases of infection, orbital wall disruption with disfigurement, or late enophthalmos.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-778
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Trauma
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Globe
  • Gunshot
  • High speed
  • Orbit


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