Non-visual complications of orbital cellulitis (NVCOC) in pediatric vs adult populations

Caroline Vloka, Chandrashan Perera, John Ng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: There have been many publications evaluating the visual outcomes of patients treated for orbital cellulitis. The aim of this study was to evaluate non-visual complications of post-septal orbital cellulitis (NVCOC) present 30 days after discharge from index hospitalization. Methods: This was an IRB-approved, retrospective chart review. Results: Ninety patients (45 pediatric, 45 adults) were identified with OC. NVCOC were significantly more common in adult patients as compared to children (40.0% vs 15.6% respectively; p < 0.05). The most common NVCOC among children was persistent ptosis, while clinically significant scarring was most common in adults. NVCOC were less persistent in children as compared to adults with 71.4% of complications in children resolving spontaneously by 6 month follow up as compared to 11.1% adults. (p < 0.05). The only statistically significant risk factor identified for the development of NVCOC in children and adults was the presence of ICE (intracranial extension) during index hospitalization (p < 0.05) and the presence of an infected orbital implant (p < 0.05) respectively. Conclusions: Adult patients experience NVCOC complications more often than children. Furthermore, the nonvisual complications in children are more likely to resolve spontaneously than those in adults. The intracranial spread of infection is a significant risk factor for late complications in children. The presence of an orbital wall/floor implant is a significant risk factor for late complications in adults. There are many differences in the etiology, pathophysiology, and course of NVCOC in children and adults, so information on these two populations should be reported separately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOrbit (London)
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Complications
  • Infection
  • Nonvisual
  • Orbital Cellulitis
  • Orbital Implant
  • Scarring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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