Traumatic retrobulbar hematoma: Case report of a new ultrasound finding and summary of the literature

Author Department

Emergency Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Retrobulbar hematoma (RBH) is a rare vision threatening diagnosis. Left unchecked, RBH can cause orbital compartment syndrome and vision loss in as little as 60 min. Computed tomography (CT) is the current gold standard for diagnosing RBH, but can be delayed in the emergency department (ED) for many reasons. Point of care ultrasound (POCUS) has become commonplace in the ED and is found in most algorithms for diagnosing RBH, but until recently these algorithms did not offer common findings in RBH. We present a case of traumatic retrobulbar hemorrhage diagnosed by exam findings and ultrasound demonstration of restricted ocular movement, resulting in rapid cantholysis by the ED physician and restoration of vision. We also review the literature on ultrasound findings of RBH.