Closed globe macular injuries after blasts in Combat

Brandon N. Phillips*, Dal W. Chun, Marcus Colyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


PURPOSE:: To describe the macular findings after closed globe ocular injuries sustained from blasts. METHODS:: A retrospective chart review from February 2003 to March 2010 of all soldiers with closed globe ocular injuries sustained during combat with macular findings of trauma on examination was completed. RESULTS:: There were 36 eyes that met the inclusion criteria. The mean age of the soldiers was 29.5 years and 97% were men. The average follow-up time was 18.6 months. Improvised explosive device blasts accounted for 86% of injuries. Forty-five percent of soldiers had bilateral ocular injuries. Eight of 36 eyes (22.2%) developed a macular hole. One eye had spontaneous closure and five eyes underwent surgical repair. There was a range of macular findings from retinal pigment epitheliopathy alone to retinal pigment epitheliopathy with full-thickness atrophy. Eight eyes (22.2%) had macular scarring on examination but no optical coherence tomography study. One eye (2.8%) developed phthisis bulbi. Fifteen eyes (42%) had an orbital fracture. Seven eyes (19%) sustained optic neuropathy. CONCLUSION:: Closed globe injuries after blasts resulted in a spectrum of macular findings. The integrity of the foveal inner segment/outer segment junction was the most important retinal factor in visual outcomes. Orbital fractures were not found to be a risk factor for developing optic neuropathy and may improve visual outcomes. The rate of long-term complications is unknown, and it is important for ophthalmologists to follow these patients closely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-379
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • blasts
  • choroidal rupture
  • combat ocular trauma
  • macular hole
  • retinitis slopetaria


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