Post-traumatic enophthalmos secondary to orbital fat atrophy: a volumetric analysis

Liza M. Cohen, Larissa A. Habib, Michael K. Yoon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate via volumetric analysis whether orbital fat atrophy occurs in late post-traumatic enophthalmos. Methods: An IRB-approved retrospective cohort study identified patients with diagnoses of both orbital fracture and enophthalmos with a CT orbits >3 months after injury. Exclusion criteria were surgical repair, other orbital disease or surgery, adjacent sinus disease, and an abnormal contralateral orbit. Images were analyzed using OsiriX imaging software (v.9.0.2, Pixmeo, Switzerland). Total orbital volume and orbital fat volume for the fractured and normal contralateral orbits were measured via three-dimensional volume rendering assisted region-of-interest computation. Enophthalmos was measured radiographically. Paired samples t-tests were used to compare orbital fat and total orbital volumes between the fractured and normal contralateral orbits. Results: Thirteen patients met the inclusion criteria. The numbers of patients with each fracture pattern were floor (4), medial wall (4), floor/medial wall (3), zygomaticomaxillary complex (floor+lateral wall) (1), zygomaticomaxillary complex+medial (inferior/medial/lateral walls) (1). Mean time from injury to CT scan was 21.8 ± 16.3 months. Comparing the fractured and normal contralateral orbits, there was a statistically significant decrease in orbital fat volume (mean difference 0.9 ml (14.2%), p =.0002) and increase in total orbital volume (mean difference 2.0 ml (7.0%), p =.0001). One ml orbital volume change was responsible for 0.83 mm enophthalmos. Conclusions: In addition to an increase in total orbital volume, orbital fat loss occurs with late post-traumatic enophthalmos due to unrepaired fractures. This suggests correction of bony change alone may be insufficient in some cases, and the use of custom implants may compensate for fat atrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-324
Number of pages6
JournalOrbit (London)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • CT imaging
  • enophthalmos
  • orbital fat
  • orbital fracture
  • orbital volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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