Traumatic optic atrophy caused by compressed air

Ann Ophthalmol. 1987 Feb;19(2):69-70, 74.


A six-year-old boy who developed optic atrophy after an injury with the inner tube stem of a truck tire is described. The air stem penetrated the inferonasal portion of the left orbit and discharged air. The patient presented for evaluation within one hour and had no light perception in the involved eye. Computed tomography of the orbit revealed multiple small air bubbles surrounding the optic nerve sheath without direct optic nerve edema. It is postulated that the etiology of optic atrophy is related to the air surrounding the optic nerve, which interrupted its vascular supply. Proper covering of the air stem can prevent similar accidents.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home / prevention & control
  • Air Pressure*
  • Atmospheric Pressure*
  • Atrophy / etiology
  • Child
  • Eye Injuries / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Optic Nerve / blood supply
  • Optic Nerve / pathology*