Ocular explosion after peribulbar anesthesia: case report and experimental study

Ophthalmology. 1997 Apr;104(4):608-15. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(97)30263-2.


Purpose: A peribulbar anesthetic injection for cataract surgery produced a 10.5-mm scleral laceration and lens extrusion. This study sought to recreate this unfortunate clinical situation.

Methods: Twenty-one human eye bank eyes were ruptured by intraocular injection of saline through Atkinson needles. The hydrostatic pressure required for globe rupture was measured by three different techniques in seven globes.

Results: Forty-eight percent of the scleral lacerations were equatorial and 52% were perilimbal. Lens extrusion occurred with three of the perilimbal lacerations. Rupture pressures by each technique averaged 3065, 4972, and 5648 mmHg.

Conclusion: Peribulbar injection can produce inadvertent ocular explosion.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anesthesia / adverse effects*
  • Cataract Extraction
  • Eye Injuries / etiology*
  • Eye Injuries / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections / adverse effects*
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Lens, Crystalline / pathology
  • Rupture
  • Sclera / pathology
  • Sodium Chloride / administration & dosage


  • Sodium Chloride