Chorioretinitis sclopetaria and orbital emphysema caused by a high-velocity liquid missile

Alisha Kamboj, Christopher J. Hwang, J. Erik Kulenkamp, Rusdeep S. Mundae, Ali Mokhtarzadeh, Andrew R. Harrison, Sandra R. Montezuma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To highlight a case of chorioretinitis sclopetaria, with concomitant macular hole formation and orbital emphysema, caused by a commercial-grade pressure washer.

PATIENT: A 19-year-old male presented to the emergency department with a left eye injury, incurred after being sprayed with a commercial-grade pressure washer. He endorsed ipsilateral blurred vision, pain, and linear floaters. Left eye visual acuity was 20/40. Dilated fundus exam showed inferior vitreous hemorrhage, retinal whitening, and pre-, intra-, and sub-retinal hemorrhages, consistent with chorioretinitis sclopetaria. Optical coherence tomography revealed a full-thickness macular hole. Computed tomography scan of the orbits showed subcutaneous and post-septal orbital emphysema. Two months following injury, vitreous and retinal hemorrhages and macular hole resolved. Five months following injury, visual acuity improved to 20/20.

DISCUSSION: Chorioretinitis sclopetaria is defined as a full-thickness chorioretinal disruption resulting from a high-velocity projectile passing adjacent to or into the orbit without penetrating the globe. Chorioretinal deformation and ocular comorbidities are influenced by the velocity of the missile and its spatial relationship to the orbit. While this pattern of injury is typically associated with indirect trauma to the globe by a BB or a bullet, this is the first report of chorioretinitis sclopetaria precipitated by a high-velocity liquid missile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalRetinal cases & brief reports
VolumePublish Ahead of Print
Early online dateMay 15 2021
StatePublished - May 15 2021

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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