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Orbital compartment syndrome secondary to subperiosteal abscess initiated by barotrauma
  1. Zhi Yon Charles Toh and
  2. Angus Cameron
  1. Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, Auckland District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Zhi Yon Charles Toh; go4lightly{at}; Mr Angus Cameron; aercameron{at}


This case report demonstrates an unusual complication of bacterial rhinosinusitis, causing orbital compartment syndrome from a presumed barotrauma. We postulate that the patient developed unilateral optic neuropathy, as a result of orbital compartment syndrome, secondary to orbital subperiosteal abscess following direct communication with the ethmoid sinus initiated by barotrauma. It is supported by evidence of a bony dehiscence on the lamina papyracea of the medial orbital wall with sudden onset of pain, proptosis and visual symptoms during flight.

  • Emergency medicine
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Otolaryngology / ENT

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  • Contributors ZYCT and AC were both responsible for concept, design, contents, manuscript drafting and editing. Both authors approved the final draft of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.