Purpose: Axial displacement of the globe with tenting centered on the optic nerve-globe junction is a predictor of visual loss in adults. The purpose of this study was to determine the visual outcomes of children with orbital cellulitis and globe tenting. Methods: The records of 46 consecutive children with orbital cellulitis at a single tertiary children's hospital were reviewed retrospectively. Initial and final visual acuities were available for 34 of 46 patients (74%). Globe tenting was defined by an angle of 130° or less at the optic nerve-globe junction as derived from sagittal CT or MRI. Visual acuities of 4 children with globe tenting (mean age, 10.3 ± 3.3 years) were compared with those of 30 children without globe tenting (mean age, 10.8 ± 3.5 years). Final logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution visual acuities were analyzed. Results: The mean posterior globe angle was 124.5° ± 8.0° in patients with globe tenting, compared with 145.6° ± 7.4° in the affected eye of the patients without globe tenting (p = 0.002). Final visual acuity was logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution = 0 following treatment in patients with globe tenting and logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution = 0.02 in patients without tenting (p = 0.70). Discussion: We propose that the increased elastic compliance of the optic nerve sheath and sclera in children may contribute to better visual outcomes. Conclusions: Pediatric orbital cellulitis with globe tenting may not lead to devastating vision loss as previously seen in adults.
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