Barotraumatic orbital emphysema of rhinogenic origin in a breath-hold diver: a case report.

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Barotraumatic orbital emphysema of rhinogenic origin in a breath-hold diver: a case report.

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Title: Barotraumatic orbital emphysema of rhinogenic origin in a breath-hold diver: a case report.
Author: Bolognini, A; Delehaye, E; Cau, M; Cosso, L
Abstract: Orbital emphysema is a well-recognized complication of fractures involving the orbit. Commonly, it occurs when high pressure develops in nasal cavity as during nose blowing, coughing or Valsalva's maneuver and usually occurs in the subcutaneous tissues. We report the case of a young breath-hold diver who developed spontaneous, non compressive orbital emphysema during underwater fishing, with a maximal depth of 25-30 meters in the Sardinian sea. He was otherwise healthy, without previous cranio-facial trauma and nasosinusal diseases or surgery were not present in the history. When he was referred to our attention the patient presented right eyelid ptosis but diplopia and vision impairment were absent. Computer tomography scans showed subcutaneous air in the right upper eyelid and around the eyeball, particularly near the orbit's roof but optic nerve area, intraconal, was free of air. A dehiscence in lamina papyracea was evident. In our opinion, this has been the point of air entry into the orbit. A supportive therapy was advised and two weeks later the emphysema was recovered completely and the subject was symptoms free. The literature has been revised and to our knowledge no previous cases of barotraumatic orbital emphysema, in a breath-hold diver, are referred.
Description: Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine : Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/8090
Date: 2008

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