Global Current Practice Patterns for the Management of Hyphema

Clin Ophthalmol. 2022 Sep 26;16:3135-3144. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S372273. eCollection 2022.


Purpose: Hyphema is a sequela of ocular trauma and can be associated with significant morbidity. Management of this condition is variable and can depend on individual institutional guidelines. We aimed to summarize current practices in hyphema management across ophthalmological institutions worldwide.

Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted across North America, Asia, South America, Africa, Europe, and Australia from August 2020 to January 2021. The survey assessed the existing practices in the management of hyphema at each institution.

Results: For layered hyphema, topical steroids were routinely administered by 34 (of 36 respondents, 94.4%) institutions, of which prednisolone was the preferred choice (n = 32, 88.9%). Topical cycloplegics were used at 34 (94.4%) institutions. No institution reported routine use of antifibrinolytics. Head elevation was the most deployed procedure to promote hyphema reabsorption (n = 31, 86.3%), followed by partial bed rest (n = 21, 58.3%). The majority of institutions (n = 25, 69.4%) did not routinely pursue admission for hyphema patients, although 75.0% of institutions (n = 27) scheduled follow-up visits within 48 hours of presentation. Additionally, few institutions performed routine sickle cell trait testing for patients presenting with hyphema (n = 6, 16.7%). The decision to perform anterior chamber washout varied and was often based on intraocular pressure and the speed of hyphema resolution.

Conclusion: Unanimity of international institutions on hyphema management is lacking. As it stands, many current interventions have unconvincing evidence supporting their use. Evidence-based guidelines would be beneficial in guiding decision-making on hyphema management. Additionally, areas of consensus can be used as foundations for future standard of care investigations.

Keywords: anterior segment; current practices; hyphema; sickle cell; trauma.

Grant support

This study was supported by grant P30EY001765 (Wilmer Biostatistics Core Grant) from the National Eye Institute, Bethesda, Maryland and Dean’s Funding for Summer Research, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (SCM), Baltimore, Maryland. The sponsor or funding organization had no role in the design or conduct of this research.