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Year : 1966  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 94-96

Orbital myositis associated with acute sclerotenonitis

Dept. of Ophthalmology, Medical College, Aurangabad, India

Date of Web Publication12-Jan-2008

Correspondence Address:
D L Maria
Dept. of Ophthalmology, Medical College, Aurangabad
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How to cite this article:
Maria D L. Orbital myositis associated with acute sclerotenonitis. Indian J Ophthalmol 1966;14:94-6

How to cite this URL:
Maria D L. Orbital myositis associated with acute sclerotenonitis. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1966 [cited 2023 Dec 3];14:94-6. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ijo/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?1966/14/2/94/38572

Myositis has an important place among orbital pseudotumours. Accord­ing to Francois, Rabey and Evans (1956), it occurs in three forms, dege­nerative (congenital and acquired), acute and chronic. About 73 cases have been reported in the literature ac­cording to Sureyya Gorduren (1962). Orbital myositis may show entirely different clinical forms and therefore some cases may be misdiagnosed even after careful investigations and opera­tion (Valiere-Vialeix, 1948, Francois and others, 1956, Varcea and Vaighel, 1957). Pure orbital myositis is extre­mely rare. Bertelsen (1960) claimed that many cases reported in the lite­rature were mostly complicated by as­sociated sclerotenonitis or cellulitis.

Confirmation of diagnosis is difficult as the clinical features can be mimicked by many conditons so that the differen­tial diagnosis covers a wide field. This was well demonstrated by Covens (1951). Treatment of the lesion can be rational only when the causation is un­derstood. Even today the etiology re­mains clinically obscure in many cases, though pathological examinations re­veal the cause in some, and clinical follow up enables to trace the causative factor in others. This explains the lack of standardized treatment as most writ­ers have agreed that numerous factors may produce orbital pseudotumours.

The condition occurs mostly in males. The average age at onset is 40, but Colley (1935), has seen it in a child aged 12 years. No such case so far appears to have been reported from India. Due to the rarity the following case is being reported.

  Case Report Top

A boy aged 13 years was admitted to the Ophthalmic department of the Government Medical College, Auran­gabad on 4-1-1964 with bilateral exophthalmos of two days duration with mild pyrexia of 99°F. Prior to his admission to this hospital he was treated in a mission hospital at Jalna for a continuous low grade fever. Pa­tient was constantly complaining of frontal headache and pain in the eye balls.

Local examination of the eyes: Both eyes were axially proptosed. (22 mm RE, 20 mm LE). The proptosis was slightly reducible. There was ptosis of the right upper lid. A firm nodular swelling could be palpated along the supraorbital margin in both eyes. There was marked chemosis involving the lower part of the conjunctiva which was covering on both sides, the lower part of the cornea, more so on the right side. There was slight exposure keratitis on the right side. Movements of the eyeballs were painful and res­tricted on all sides, the eye balls main­taining the primary position. The an­terior chambers and iris were normal.

Pupillary reaction was sluggish on the right side, normal on the left side. Fundus examination was possible only on the right side which revealed oedema of the disc, with haemorrhages, engorge­ment of veins and oedema of the retina surrounding the disc. Vision in both the eyes was reduced to hand move­ments. There was no enlargement of preauricular glands (plate l). General physical examination revealed that the patient was anaemic and slightly toxic. There was no other positive finding of any importance. After a few days the anaemia became severe for which blood transfusion of 200 cc. was given.

  Investigations Top

Blood count showed a high leucocy­tic count of 30,000 with 78% lympho­cytes, and 18% polymorphs. There was hypochromic anisocytosis. Haemo­globin was 12,E on admission. The E.S.R. was 11 mm. after the first hour.

The bone-marrow showed a normo­blastic reaction, there was no evidence of any leucocytic changes and the iron reaction was negative.

All other serological and laboratory tests including lumbar puncture, exami­nation of stools and urine were normal and non-contributory.

X-Ray examination of the skull, orbits and chest did not reveal any abnormality.

Orbital aspiration and surgical biopsy were purposely avoided.

Bone marrow was normoblastic in reaction. There was no evidence of leucocytic changes and was negative for iron reaction.

  Treatment and Progress of the Case Top

Treatment was started with high doses of crystalline penicillin which showed no response. Later on tetra­cycline and prednisolone were started in heavy doses. Patient started showing signs of improvement as regards prop­tosis and chemosis but her anamia be­came too severe (haemoglobin 3%,) for which blood transfusion of 200 cc. was given along with other antianaemic measures. After a few days the pa­tient's general condition improved re­markably and chemosis completely dis­appeared from the left eye with marked improvement in proptosis, the vision improving to finger counting at 4 m.

Fundus picture showed regressive oedema with absence of haemorrhages. The patient developed a corneal ulcer on the right side though chemosis was much less, probably due to heavy doses of corticosteroids. The corneal ulcer healed under treatment with a dense central leucoma. Blood picture went on improving towards normality. Patient was discharged on 8-2-64 with com­plete recovery of proptosis in both the eyes and marked improvement of vi­sion in the left eye. Vision in the right eye was finger counting 2 feet (plates 2 and 3).

  Discussion Top

It has been seen from previous re­ports that most of these cases were males, average age being 40 years ex­cept for two cases in which the ages were 12 and 13 years (Colley 1935 and Sureyya Gorduren 1963). Our case was a male, 13 years old.

Most of the reported cases came with unilateral exophthalmos involving the second eye after a long interval but the present case was admitted with a bila­teral onset. As it has been pointed out in the introduction that the clinical picture of sclerotenonitis with myosi­tis is variegated and the diagnosis dif­ficult, this case made us think about various causes of bilateral axial exoph­thalmos of acute onset. These varied causes were ruled out with the help of clinical appearance and progress of the case and special laboratory investiga­tions. I will like to stress that the surgical biopsy and orbital aspiration were purposely omitted (as pointed out by Sureyya Gorduren 1962) for fear of aggravation of the condition. The etio­logy is still obscure. It is now clear that tuberculosis, syphilis and focal in­fections play no important part in the disease. Poisoning, avitaminosis, here­dity, allergy, glandular dysfunctions, infectious disease and trauma have also been suggested as etiological factors. In view of the remarkable improvement with broad-spectrum antibiotics, the most likely cause in our case should be infection, the nature of which could not be determined.

  Summary Top

A case of bilateral axial exophthal­mos of acute onset in a boy of 13 years is reported, clinically diagnosed as sclerotenonitis with orbital myositis of mild degree which responded to heavy doses of corticosteroids with broad spectrum antibiotics. At the time of discharge the patient's ocular mobility was perfectly normal with vision re­duced to finger counting 2 feet in right eye due to leucoma and 6/ 12 vision in the left eye.[7]

  References Top

Bertelsen, T. I., (1960), Act Ophthal (Kbb) 38, 136.  Back to cited text no. 1
Colley, T., (1935), Brit. J. Ophthal, 19, 93.  Back to cited text no. 2
Cowan. T. W. (1951), A.M.A. Arch. Ophthal 46, 390.  Back to cited text no. 3
Francois, J. Rabaey, M., and Evans, L. (1956). Ophthalmologica, 131, 105.  Back to cited text no. 4
Sureyya Gorduren, (1962), Brit. J. Ophthal. 46, 568-572.  Back to cited text no. 5
Valiere Vialeix, (1948), Ann. d'Oculist 181, 1.  Back to cited text no. 6
Vancea, M. P., and Vaighel, V. (1957), Arch. Ophthal. 17, 191.  Back to cited text no. 7


  [Figure - 1], [Figure - 2], [Figure - 3]


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