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Journal Article


Gise R, Truong T, Parsikia A, Mbekeani JN. Pediatr. Neurol. 2018; 85: 43-50.


Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York; Department of Surgery (Ophthalmology), Jacobi Medical Center, Bronx, New York.


(Copyright © 2018, Elsevier Publishing)






BACKGROUND: Traumatic visual pathway injuries are often associated with severe head trauma and can have profound deleterious effects in developing children and their rehabilitation. We sought to elucidate the epidemiology of pediatric visual pathway injuries in the United States.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study is a retrospective evaluation of pediatric patients (less than 21 years of age) with visual pathway injuries that were submitted to the National Trauma Data Bank between 2008 to 2014. Patients were identified using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision Clinical Modification codes. Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS software. Variables were correlated using Student t test, chi-squared test, and logistic regression analyses.

RESULTS: Of the 58,765 pediatric patients (1.7%) who were admitted with ocular injuries, 970 had visual pathway injuries. The majority of these patients were male (69.2%), and the mean age was 11.6 years (±7.2). Traumatic optic neuropathy was the most common (86.1%) visual pathway injury. It had the greatest odds of occurring with oculomotor nerve injury (odds ratio = 3.84; P < 0.001). Associated ocular injuries were open adnexal wounds (87.4%) and orbital fractures (23%). Common mechanisms were motor vehicle occupant (21.5%) and firearms (15.6%). Motor vehicle occupants were most likely white and firearms injury, black. In the zero to three years age group, most injuries were due to falls; injuries in the 19 to 21 years age group had the greatest association with firearms. Overall mortality was 17.6%.

CONCLUSIONS: Visual pathway injuries may have devastatating sequelae and should be considered in pediatric ocular injuries. The clear majority were traumatic optic neuropathies. The common mechanisms, motor vehicle occupant and firearms, revealed age and race disparities.

Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Language: en


National Trauma Data Bank; Pediatric ocular trauma; Traumatic brain injury; Traumatic optic neuropathy; Visual pathway injury


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