Background: Preseptal and orbital cellulitis range in severity from minor to potentially severe complications. The purpose of this study is to describe the clinical features of patients with preseptal or orbital cellulitis in one medical center in Taiwan, and to assess the effectiveness of treatments and the complications. Methods: Patients admitted between 1996 and 2005 to Taipei Veterans General Hospital under the diagnosis of preseptal or orbital cellulitis were retrospectively reviewed. The demographics, administrative history, past history, clinical presentations, treatments, and complications were analyzed. Results: In total, 94 patients fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for preseptal or orbital cellulitis were identified (67 had preseptal cellulitis, 27 had orbital cellulitis). While paranasal sinus disease was the most common predisposing cause in orbital cases, skin lesions in children and dacryocystitis in adults were the most common in preseptal cases. Microbiologic investigations showed variable results, but the most common pathogen isolated was Staphylococcus aureus. Cultures from eye swabs and local abscesses gave the highest positive yield. Blood cultures were taken in some patients, but the positive rate was extremely low. Treatments included intravenous antibiotics alone, or intravenous antibiotics combined with surgical drainage. Only one case had permanent ocular motility impairment after removal of the orbital foreign body. Conclusion: Despite the past history of potential morbidity and even mortality from orbital cellulitis, early diagnosis and prompt treatment with proper antibiotics and/or surgical intervention can achieve a good prognosis.
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