Inflammatory disorders of the orbit in childhood: a case series

Am J Ophthalmol. 2010 Oct;150(4):460-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2010.05.012. Epub 2010 Aug 4.


Purpose: To describe a series of cases of orbital inflammatory disorders in children.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Methods: The medical records of pediatric patients diagnosed with orbital inflammation between September 1, 2002, and December 31, 2008, at Texas Children's Hospital were reviewed. Data collected included age at presentation, final diagnosis, treatment, workup and evaluation, need for biopsy and biopsy results, and involvement of lacrimal gland and muscles.

Results: Twelve cases were identified. Six cases were males and 6 were females with age at presentation ranging from 1.3 to 16.2 years (mean, 11.9 years). The most common presentation was lacrimal gland enlargement, which was bilateral in 3 cases. Other common presenting signs were proptosis, extraocular motility limitation, and pain on eye movement. Half of our patients had systemic complaints at presentation, the most common of which was fever. Four patients were diagnosed as having a systemic cause and 2 of these patients had systemic symptoms.

Conclusions: Idiopathic orbital inflammatory conditions in children are uncommon, but can be associated with systemic conditions. Patients typically have lacrimal gland involvement, pain with eye movement, proptosis, and motility deficits at presentation. Bilateral cases may have a higher incidence of systemic disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biopsy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dacryocystitis / diagnosis*
  • Exophthalmos / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy
  • Infant
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / pathology
  • Male
  • Orbital Myositis / diagnosis*
  • Orbital Pseudotumor / diagnosis*
  • Retrospective Studies