The 'guitar pick' sign: A novel sign of retrobulbar hemorrhage

Jonathan Theoret, Geoffrey E. Sanz, David Matero, Todd Guth, Catherine Erickson, Michael M. Liao, John L. Kendall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Retrobulbar hemorrhage is a rare complication of blunt ocular trauma. Without prompt intervention, permanent reduction in visual acuity can develop in as little as 90 minutes. We report a novel bedside ultrasound finding of conical deformation of the posterior ocular globe: the ''guitar pick'' sign. In our elderly patient, the ocular globe shape normalized post-lateral canthotomy and inferior cantholysis. Identifying this sonographic finding may add to the clinical examination when deciding whether to perform decompression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-164
Number of pages3
JournalCanadian Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2011


  • Bedside ultrasonography
  • Guitar pick sign
  • Retrobulbar hemorrhage
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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  • Cite this

    Theoret, J., Sanz, G. E., Matero, D., Guth, T., Erickson, C., Liao, M. M., & Kendall, J. L. (2011). The 'guitar pick' sign: A novel sign of retrobulbar hemorrhage. Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine, 13(3), 162-164.