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Ocular manifestations of head injury and incidence of post-traumatic ocular motor nerve involvement in cases of head injury: a clinical review

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As the eyes are in close proximity to the skull, they can get simultaneously affected in head injuries. This close association warrants careful ocular examination in all cases of head injury. This is a prospective non-randomized analytical study to evaluate various ocular manifestations in cases of head injury with special reference to ocular motor nerve involvement, correlation between pupillary changes, and survival. A total of 1,184 patients with head injury were screened for ocular manifestations. This study comprises 594 patients with ocular manifestations of head injury. All the relevant data was compiled and analyzed as per proforma. Ocular manifestations were evaluated in each patient and appropriate investigations were carried out. Patients with ocular morbidity were analyzed for age, sex, mode of injury, Glasgow Coma Score, and associated injuries in addition to ophthalmic and neurosurgical evaluations. Of the 594 patients, 81.6 % were male and 18.4 % were female, with a male-to-female ratio of 4:1. The major cause of head injury was road traffic accidents (70.37 %). The most common age group involved was, 21–40-year-olds (67.40 %). Out of 594 patients, ecchymosis was found in 51.85 %, subconjunctival hemorrhage in 44.44 %, lid edema in 41.48 %, lacerated wound in 22.59 %, pupillary involvement in 21.04 %, ptosis in 6.73 %, cranial nerve palsy in 11.62 %, orbital fractures in 10.44 %, optic nerve trauma in 4.04 %, and exposure keratitis in 4.21 %. Patients with bilaterally dilated or pinpoint fixed pupils had a 10 times higher risk of mortality than patients without pupillary involvement. Third nerve involvement was seen 2.85 times more frequently in frontal and parietal region injuries compared to other sites of injury. The involvement of the sixth nerve occurred 4.6 times more frequently in parietal region injuries compared to other sites of injury.

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Correspondence to Bhavana Sharma.

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Sharma, B., Gupta, R., Anand, R. et al. Ocular manifestations of head injury and incidence of post-traumatic ocular motor nerve involvement in cases of head injury: a clinical review. Int Ophthalmol 34, 893–900 (2014).

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