Asymptomatic chronic hypotony due to subclinical choroidal effusion after blunt trauma
Objective: To present a case report of asymptomatic post-traumatic chronic hypotony in which the cause was undetected until phacoemulsification.
Methodology: Case report.
Results: A 55-year-old female’s left eye suffered blunt trauma causing hyphema and iritis, which were successfully managed; however, up to a year after, the intraocular pressure (IOP) ranged from 3 to 5 mmHg and the anterior chamber remained very shallow (Van Herick grade 4) with the lens–iris diaphragm pushed anteriorly with difficulty assessing the angles for recession or clefts . Visual acuity was initially 20/20 upon resolution of the hyphema but worsened to 20/40 a year after, presumably due to a developing cataract. Periodic dilated fundus examinations revealed no hypotony maculopathy or choroidal effusions. Prior to phacoemulsification, ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM) revealed 360 degrees of mild peripheral choroidal effusions. During phacoemulsification, after intraocular lens insertion, direct gonioscopy revealed a supero-nasal cyclodialysis cleft (2 clock hours) and this was repaired intraoperatively with direct cyclopexy through a partial thickness scleral flap. Postoperatively, the vision improved to 20/20 without correction and the IOP normalized to 16 to 18 mmHg.
Conclusion: Chronic hypotony post-trauma may be asymptomatic and the cause may not be clinically evident and may be detected by UBM (choroidal effusion). In our case, the proximate aetiology (cyclodialysis cleft) of the effusion was only observed intraoperatively after phacoemulsification for which cyclopexy was performed which increased the IOP to physiologic levels.
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