Ocular Complications among Cases of Head Injury Seen in a Neurosurgical Hospital in Southeastern Nigeria
Background: Head injuries with ocular involvement are of great importance due to the visual morbidity and mortality which may result.
Objective: To determine the pattern of ocular complications among cases of head injury seen in Memphys Hospital for Neurosurgery, Enugu, in south-eastern Nigeria.
Patients and Methods: In a prospective study, consecutive patients with head injury seen in Memphys Hospital for Neurosurgery, Enugu, from June 2007 to May 2008 were analysed for age, sex, cause of head injury, presence or absence of ocular complication and type of ocular complication.
Results: A total of 26 patients were analysed – 21 men and 5 women (M: F = 4:1), with an age range from 21-64 years. Road traffic accident was the leading cause of head injury, accounting for 88.3% of all the cases. All the patients presented within 72 hours of injury. Fifteen (57.7%) of the 26 patients had ocular complications in one or both eyes. The complications were more neuro-ophthalmic (76.2%) than ophthalmic (23.8%).
Damage to the ocular cranial nerve was the most frequently occurring injury, accounting for 61.9% of all complications, followed by soft tissue injury, which was seen in 5 (23.8%) cases.
Conclusion: Neuro-ophthalmic complications involving the ocular cranial nerves were the most commonly occurring complication among the cases of head injury seen in Memphys Hospital for Neurosurgery, Enugu.
Key words: Ocular complications, head injury, Nigeria.