Exophthalmia: Etiology, Pathology, Diagnosis & Treatment

A nonspecific, unilateral or bilateral condition of the eye, commonly called “pop-eye,” in which the globe of the eye extends outside its normal limits.

Overview

A nonspecific, unilateral or bilateral condition of the eye, commonly called “pop-eye,” in which the globe of the eye extends outside its normal limits.
 
Exophthalmia

Etiology

Numerous etiologies have been reported to cause exophthalmia including infectious (e.g., viral: infectious pancreatic necrosis, infectious hematopoietic necrosis or viral hemorrhagic septicemia; or bacterial: Aeromonas sp., Flavobacterium sp., Vibrio sp., Edwardsiella ictaluri, Renibacterium salmoninarum or Mycobacterium sp.), parasitic, neoplasia, and noninfectious (e.g., gas supersaturation), or as a sequela to impaired renal function or increased abdominal pressure from the accumulation of fluids in the coelomic cavity. Fluid or gas accumulation in the retrobulbar tissues can also cause protrusion of the eye.

Route of Transmission

Depends on specific etiology. Host range: All freshwater, brackish and marine species are probably susceptible to the various causes of exophthalmia.

Clinical Presentation

The globe of the eye expands laterally or circumferentially outside its normal size, or protrusion of the globe outside the normal recesses of the orbit. The enlarged globe of the eye is predisposed to a variety of infectious diseases or trauma.

Pathology

Anything that expands the posterior segment of the globe (e.g., infectious etiologies, parasites, tumors, increased coelomic pressure) may produce a lateral movement of the globe. Both supersaturation of the water and swim bladder inflammation can cause gas bubbles in the vascular and choroidal gland, resulting in exophthalmos.

Differential Diagnosis

This condition should not be confused with telescoping eyes found in a number of goldfish varieties or “bubble eye” goldfish, which have infraorbital lymph-filled sacs of adnexal (i.e., not ocular) origin.

Diagnosis

Most commonly diagnosed by visual inspection of the fish and eye(s), though the specific etiology may be more difficult to determine. Specific diagnostic techniques may include an ophthalmic examination, tissue or fluid aspirates, impression smears, and biopsies.

Management / Control

Depending on the cause of the exophthalmia, this may include correcting environmental conditions (i.e., reducing supersaturated gas concentrations in the water), topical or systemic antibiotics to treat localized ophthalmic or systemic infections, aspiration of excess gases from the globe, or enucleation.

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Dr Lobby | DrLobby.com: Exophthalmia: Etiology, Pathology, Diagnosis & Treatment
Exophthalmia: Etiology, Pathology, Diagnosis & Treatment
A nonspecific, unilateral or bilateral condition of the eye, commonly called “pop-eye,” in which the globe of the eye extends outside its normal limits.
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