Korean J Pediatr Infect Dis.  2008 May;15(1):35-43. 10.14776/kjpid.2008.15.1.35.

Orbital and Periorbital Cellulitis in Children: A Recent 7-Year Clinical Rev iew

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Hanil General Hospital, Korea. atomjin@empal.com
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Kyunghee University, Seoul, Korea.


Orbital cellulitis is rare, but it could be from the serious complication of sinusitis in children. It is often difficult to distinguish periorbital cellulitis from orbital cellulitis. The purpose of this study is to describe the clinical features of orbital and periorbital cellulitis in a pediatric population and to assess the predisposing factors and their complications.
Forty-one patients aged 18 years and younger who were admitted between January 2000 and December 2006 to Hanil General Hospital and Kyunghee University Hospital with orbital or periorbital cellulitis. The retrospective analyses included clinical characteristics of orbital and periorbital cellulitis, dermographics, past history, predisposing factors, clinical presentations, treatments, and complications.
Among 41 patients, 34 patients had periorbital cellulitis, 7 patients had orbital cellulitis. While paranasal sinus disease was the most common predisposing cause in orbital cases, skin lesion, insect bite, dacrocystitis and conjunctivitis were the common causes in periorbital cases. In comparison with periorbital cases, orbital cases had higher level of white blood cell count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein. Blood cultures were taken in 23 patients, but only one had Staphylococcus aureus from blood. Only one case had surgical incision and drainage and recovered without complications.
From the results of our data, when patient shows erythematous swelling of periorbital area with opthalmoplegia, chemosis and proptosis, orbital CT scan is required to make diagnosis of orbital cellulitis. Most cases of orbital cellulitis can be treated successfully without surgical intervention. If there is no clinical improvement, repeated CT scan and/or surgical intervention should be considered.


Cellulitis; Orbital; Periorbital
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