International Ophthalmology

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 55–61 | Cite as

Epidemiology and clinical outcome of intraocular foreign bodies in Hong Kong: a 13-year review

  • Candice C. H. Liu
  • Justin M. K. Tong
  • Patrick S. H. Li
  • Kenneth K. W. LiEmail author
Original Paper


The purpose of this study was to describe the epidemiology, visual outcome and prognostic factors of intraocular foreign body (IOFB) injuries in a tertiary centre in Hong Kong. A retrospective review of 21 eyes in 21 patients with IOFB that presented to United Christian Hospital from January 2001 to July 2014 was performed. IOFB represented 16 % of all open-globe traumas. There was a high male predominance (90 %). The mean age was 42. Work-related injuries (86 %) were the main cause, where only 10.5 % had eye protection. Hammering was the commonest mechanism of injury (43 %). Most IOFBs were metallic (67 %). The IOFB was found in the anterior segment in 31 % and posterior segment in 69 %. 57 % presented with an initial visual acuity of ≥0.1, and up to 24 % of patients had an initial visual acuity of better than or equal to 0.5. Most cases (76 %) received prompt surgical intervention within 24 h, and there was a low (0 %) endophthalmitis rate. Forty-eight percent had an improvement in visual acuity, defined as final visual acuity more than or equal to 2 lines of improvement from initial visual acuity, and 48 % attained a final visual acuity of better than or equal to 0.5. One case underwent evisceration. A smaller IOFB size (<5 mm) was associated with a good final visual acuity of better than or equal to 0.5 (p = 0.048). It was also found that a posterior segment IOFB was more likely to give a final VA of less than 0.5 (p = 0.035). IOFB remains a significant complication of work-related injuries in Hong Kong. This is the first local study that explores the epidemiology of IOFB injuries in Hong Kong. The favourable visual outcome and low endophthalmitis rate may be related to early removal of IOFB. Despite legal ordinances for mandatory eye protection, the uptake of eye protection was low.


Intraocular foreign body Ocular trauma Open-globe injury Epidemiology Occupational injuries 



The authors would like to thank Mr Kelvin SH Wong for his statistical contribution in this review.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Candice C. H. Liu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Justin M. K. Tong
    • 1
    • 3
  • Patrick S. H. Li
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kenneth K. W. Li
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyUnited Christian HospitalKowloon, Hong Kong SARPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyTseung Kwan O HospitalSai Kung, Hong Kong SARPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Ophthalmology, LKS Faculty of MedicineThe University of Hong KongPok Fu Lam, Hong Kong SARPeople’s Republic of China

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