Injuries of the globe: what can the radiologist offer?

Radiographics. 2014 May-Jun;34(3):764-76. doi: 10.1148/rg.343135120.


Traumatic ocular injuries are a significant cause of blindness and visual deficits. In the setting of acute orbital trauma, urgent ophthalmologic evaluation and intervention are critical in preserving vision. However, in the acute trauma setting, clinical evaluation of the globe may be difficult in the presence of surrounding periorbital soft-tissue swelling and other associated injuries, and patient cooperation may be limited because of unresponsiveness, altered mentation, or sedation. Often, rapid access to imaging is part of the initial diagnostic evaluation, and radiologists may be the first to identify traumatic injuries of the globe. Because of this, radiologists should be familiar with normal orbital and globe anatomy at various imaging modalities and have a thorough understanding of the various patterns of ocular injury and their imaging appearances. Radiologists should also be familiar with the various mimics of ocular injury, including congenital and acquired conditions that may alter the shape of the globe, various types of ocular calcifications, and the different types of material used to treat retinal detachment. Such knowledge may help radiologists make accurate diagnoses, which facilitates prompt and appropriate patient care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blast Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Corneal Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Eye / anatomy & histology
  • Eye Abnormalities / diagnostic imaging
  • Eye Foreign Bodies / diagnostic imaging
  • Eye Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Hyphema / diagnostic imaging
  • Lens Subluxation / diagnostic imaging
  • Orbit / injuries
  • Retinal Detachment / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Ultrasonography
  • Wounds, Penetrating / diagnostic imaging