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Arch Emerg Med. 1992 June; 9(2): 143–148.
PMCID: PMC1285851

Orbital cellulitis.


Orbital cellulitis is an emergency. It may cause blindness and progress to life-threatening sequelae such as brain abscess, meningitis and cavernous sinus thrombosis. Successful management is dependent upon urgent referral and immediate treatment. Although isolated eyelid erythema and swelling usually indicate primary infection anterior to the orbital septum, they may also be the first signs of an underlying frontal or ethmoidal sinusitis. The condition always requires emergency referral to both an ophthalmologist and otorhinolaryngologist.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Chandler JR, Langenbrunner DJ, Stevens ER. The pathogenesis of orbital complications in acute sinusitis. Laryngoscope. 1970 Sep;80(9):1414–1428. [PubMed]
  • Jackson K, Baker SR. Clinical implications of orbital cellulitis. Laryngoscope. 1986 May;96(5):568–574. [PubMed]
  • Mills RP, Kartush JM. Orbital wall thickness and the spread of infection from the paranasal sinuses. Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 1985 Aug;10(4):209–216. [PubMed]
  • Spires JR, Smith RJ. Bacterial infections of the orbital and periorbital soft-tissues in children. Laryngoscope. 1986 Jul;96(7):763–767. [PubMed]

Articles from Archives of Emergency Medicine are provided here courtesy of BMJ Publishing Group