Orbital cellulitis



Orbital cellulitis

Eyes, ears, nose, and throat


Orbital cellulitis


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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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High Yield Notes

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Orbital cellulitis

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 9-year-old boy is brought to the emergency department for evaluation of right eye pain of several hours duration. His mother states, “He’s been fighting something all week. He's been blowing his nose non-stop; I think he had a fever too.” He has no significant past medical history. Temperature is 38.5°C (101.3°F), pulse is 106/min, respirations are 18/min, and blood pressure is 112/84 mmHg. Physical examination reveals tenderness to palpation over the right orbit with associated right eyelid swelling with erythema. The patient reports significant pain with extraocular eye movement. Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?  


Orbital cellulitis is inflammation of the tissues surrounding the eye. It most commonly refers to an acute spread of infection into the eye socket from either the adjacent sinuses or through the bloodstream. When it affects the rear of the eye, it is known as retro-orbital cellulitis. Common signs and symptoms of orbital cellulitis include pain with eye movement, sudden vision loss, bulging of the infected eye, and limited eye movement. The treatment involves antibiotics to clear the infection, and sometimes surgical drainage to drain abscesses if present.


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