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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 79-80  

Vitreous hemorrhage following inadvertent intra-ocular injection of botulinum toxin

Department of Ophthalmology, King Georges' Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication23-Jan-2015

Correspondence Address:
Siddharth Agrawal
Department of Ophthalmology,King Georges' Medical University,Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-620X.149905

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How to cite this article:
Agrawal S, Singh V, Gupta SK, Vinod Kumar B M. Vitreous hemorrhage following inadvertent intra-ocular injection of botulinum toxin. Oman J Ophthalmol 2015;8:79-80

How to cite this URL:
Agrawal S, Singh V, Gupta SK, Vinod Kumar B M. Vitreous hemorrhage following inadvertent intra-ocular injection of botulinum toxin. Oman J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Sep 18];8:79-80. Available from: http://www.ojoonline.org/text.asp?2015/8/1/79/149905


Botulinum Toxin Type A is routinely used in Strabismus practice for various indications and by various techniques ranging from electromyography (EMG) assisted to transconjunctival injection under topical anesthesia. [1],[2] Potential complications of this seemingly simple procedure should be kept in mind while performing the same.

A 30-year-old lady was taken up for 4 Units (0.1 ml) injection of Botulinum Toxin into the Right Medial Rectus (RMR) muscle for 2-month-old Right Lateral Rectus (RLR) Palsy associated with tubercular meningitis. The procedure was attempted transconjunctivally under topical anesthesia, parallel to muscle insertion with a 30G needle. Upon injection the patient complained of severe pain and the intra-ocular pressure was noted to be markedly raised. Immediate indirect ophthalmoscopy confirmed intra-ocular penetration with central retinal artery pulsations and a pre-retinal hemorrhage medially. Immediate paracentesis was performed, followed by cryo-application over the injection site. Post-operatively the patient had a dispersed vitreous haemorrhage and underwent repeat ultrasonography to rule out retinal detachment. The hemorrhage cleared by conservative management and the visual acuity returned to pre-injection level over 2 weeks. A retinal break with surrounding cryo-reaction was visualised at the site of entry.

There are very few reports of intra-ocular injection of botulinum. [3],[4],[5] All confirm the non-toxic nature of botulinum to intra-ocular tissues. This is the first report (pubmed search) where vitreous hemorrhage was noted which cleared spontaneously.

On analysis we understand that injection of botulinum requires more caution than any other peri-ocular procedure for the following reasons:

  • The associated deviation makes reaching the desired site difficult as in this case the RLR palsy with large esotropia caused us to introduce our forcep deep near the medial canthus almost blindly
  • The pain associated with holding the extra-ocular muscle is significant causing the patient to squeeze the lids making the procedure difficult
  • The need to inject near the ocular surface of the muscle (to block the nerve which enters from the bulbar surface) takes one closer to the sclera which is already thin below the muscle belly. [6]

It would thus be logical to inject the muscle after a retro or a peribulbar block in the absence of EMG which would take care of the first two concerns (above) associated with this procedure. Using a 26-G needle rather than a 30-G and injecting perpendicular to the muscle rather than parallel to it would also decrease the possibility of intra-ocular penetration. We were fortunate to escape serious complications which could have occurred in our patient and probably immediate paracentesis and cryopexy were decisive.

   References Top

Scott AB, Magoon EH, McNeer KW, Stager DR. Botulinum treatment of strabismus in children. Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc 1989;87:174-84.  Back to cited text no. 1
Benabent EC, Garcia Hermosa P, Arrazola MT, Alio y Sanz JL. Botulinum toxin injection without electromyographic assistance. J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus 2002;39:231-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
Leung AK, Keyhani K, Ashenhurst M. Retinal tear and raised intraocular pressure following unintentional intraocular botulinum toxin type A injection. Can J Ophthalmol 2007;42:746-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
Liu M, Lee HC, Hertle RW, Ho AC. Retinal detachment from inadvertent intraocular injection of botulinum toxin A. Am J Ophthalmol 2004;137:201-2.  Back to cited text no. 4
Pehere N, Jalali S, Mathai A, Naik M, Ramesh K. Inadvertent intraocular injection of botulinum toxin A. J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus 2011;48:e1-3.  Back to cited text no. 5
Gunter K, von Noorden, Emilio CC. Summary of the gross anatomy of EOM. In: Binocular Vision and Ocular Motility: Theory and Management of Strabismus. 4 th ed. St Louis: CV Mosby; 1990. p. 41-51.  Back to cited text no. 6


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