Abnormalities of the globe

Clin Radiol. 2012 Oct;67(10):1011-22. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2012.03.006. Epub 2012 May 29.


Although much has been published in the radiology literature on the multitudinous conditions affecting the bony orbit, there has been relatively little on diseases confined to the globe itself. As current cross-sectional imaging techniques evolve, the globes can be visualized in ever greater detail, facilitating the recognition of even fairly subtle disease entities in this region. Indeed, the fact that high-resolution detailed images of this area are achievable without significant time or radiation penalty when evaluating surrounding structures means that incidental disease is not infrequently encountered. As such, common disease entities in this region are of interest to the general radiologist and the diagnosis of globe disease need not be the remit of experienced observers in specialist centres. At our institutions we have recently encountered a number of cases covering a broad spectrum of diagnoses including traumatic, neoplastic, iatrogenic, inflammatory, and infective aetiologies. The purpose of this review is to briefly revise the pertinent anatomical and physiological properties of the globe and to familiarize the reader with the computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appearances of a number of these disease states. The collection of abnormalities included is not intended to be exhaustive, merely representative, with the emphasis towards those more commonly encountered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Eye Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Orbital Diseases / diagnosis*