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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 351-352

Post-traumatic isolated superior rectus hematoma

Department of Neurosurgery, National Neurosciences Centre, Calcutta, India

Date of Acceptance12-Mar-2009
Date of Web Publication8-Jul-2009

Correspondence Address:
K Sridhar
Department of Neurosurgery, National Neurosciences Centre, Calcutta
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.53268

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How to cite this article:
Krishnan P, Sridhar K, Mondal M. Post-traumatic isolated superior rectus hematoma. Neurol India 2009;57:351-2

How to cite this URL:
Krishnan P, Sridhar K, Mondal M. Post-traumatic isolated superior rectus hematoma. Neurol India [serial online] 2009 [cited 2023 Sep 28];57:351-2. Available from:


An eight-year-old boy presented with post-traumatic right-sided periorbital ecchymosis and swelling of the eyelid with palpebral fissure closure. A few days later he was unable to fully open the eye and was complained of diplopia. On examination, he had normal visual acuity and fields. The right eye was mildly proptosed and depressed, with periorbital ecchymosis and swelling [Figure 1]a. There was no subconjunctival or scleral hemorrhage. Fundoscopic examination was normal. Extraocular movements were normal in the left eye. He was able to move the right eye in all directions except superiorly. Forced duction test of the right eye was negative. A CT scan of the brain and orbits showed a hematoma in the superior rectus-levator complex [Figure 1]b-d. No fracture was seen. The patient was treated conservatively and eye movements gradually improved.

Isolated hemorrhage into an ocular muscle following trauma is very uncommon. Only one case of isolated post-traumatic superior rectus hematoma has been reported in the English literature to date. [1] More frequent are reports of inferior rectus hematoma. The commonest cause of a post-traumatic diplopia is mechanical entrapment of soft tissues due to a blow out of the orbital floor. Hemorrhage and edema in the orbital fat causing septae to become taut, can also restrict ocular movement. In both of these conditions, forced duction test is positive. However, in injury to the ocular muscles, the forced duction test is negative. [2] Isolated hemorrhage into ocular muscles does not have any other characteristic clinical feature to distinguish them from other causes of post-traumatic diplopia. Evidence of a bleed may be seen, if the hematoma extends along the muscle sheath to its insertion on the globe. [3] The paucity of clinical findings to distinguish this rare phenomenon from the more common causes of post-traumatic diplopia and proptosis, may result in a wrong or a missed diagnosis. CT scan of the orbit, especially the ++ coronal images, is diagnostic, as it clearly displays the hematoma in the muscle plane.

 » References Top

1.Raina UK, Tuli D. Post-traumatic isolated rectus muscle hematoma. Annals of Ophthalmol 2001;33:64-6.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Kanski JJ. Disorders of the orbit. Clinical Ophthalmology: A systematic approach. 3 rd ed. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann; 1995. p. 53.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Goldberg MF, David P. Ocular Emergencies. In: Peyman GA, Sanders DR, Goldberg MF, editors. Principles and Practice of Ophthalmology. Vol. 3. 1 st Indian ed. New Delhi: Jaypee Bros; 1987. p. 2474.  Back to cited text no. 3    


  [Figure 1]

This article has been cited by
1 Isolated Superior Rectus Muscle Hematoma Following Blunt Orbital Trauma
Asaf Friehmann, Alon Peled, Noa Ela-Dalman, Arie Y. Nemet
Journal of Craniofacial Surgery. 2019; 30(2): e125
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


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