gms | German Medical Science

57th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery
Joint Meeting with the Japanese Neurosurgical Society

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

11 - 14 May, Essen

Extended pterional orbital decompression in severe orbital cellulitis

Die pterionale Orbitadekompression bei schwerer Orbitaphlegmone

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author M.C. Korinth - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum der RWTH, Aachen
  • M.R. Weinzierl - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum der RWTH, Aachen
  • J.M. Gilsbach - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum der RWTH, Aachen

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Japanische Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 57. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e.V. (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Essen, 11.-14.05.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocP 07.97

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: May 8, 2006

© 2006 Korinth et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: Bacterial orbital cellulitis is a relatively uncommon infective process, which can threaten the function of orbital structures. Apart from antibiotic therapy, sinus surgery with or without abscess drainage via an orbito-otorhinolaryngologic approach might be necessary.

Case description: We present three cases of severe orbital cellulitis, leading to increasing loss of vision, proptosis, afferent pupillary disturbances and restriction of extraocular movements, despite antibiotic therapy.

Results: After extended pterional orbital decompression and reducing the orbital pressure by removal of the lateral and superolateral orbital walls, all patients showed distinct improvement of initial symptoms without any complications related to the operation.

Conclusions: Extended pterional orbital decompression represents an effective treatment alternative and supplement in cases of severe, ocular function threatening cases of orbital cellulitis, where acute reduction of pressure on orbital neural and vascular structures is intended.