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- A grossly visible collection of blood in the anterior chamber of the eye
- Microhyphema refers to red blood cells in the anterior chamber which do not layer out and are not grossly visible.
- Traumatic hyphema is a common complication of blunt or penetrating trauma to the eye that can result in permanent vision loss.
Annual incidence of 20 cases per 100,000 population (1)
- Up to 70% occur in children with a peak incidence at 10 to 20 years of age.
- Males are affected 3 to 5 times more often than females (1).
Etiology and Pathophysiology
- Blunt trauma is the most common cause, and assault is the most common mechanism.
- Penetrating trauma
- Postoperatively following intraocular surgery
- Neoplasm (retinoblastoma or iris melanoma)
- Clotting disorders (von Willebrand disease or juvenile xanthogranuloma)
- Pathophysiology: Posterior displacement of tissue stretches the limbal vessels resulting in a tear and leading to bleeding; red blood cells obstruct outflow of aqueous humor and remain in the anterior chamber.
- Congenital bleeding disorders (sickle cell trait or disease)
- Intraocular surgery
Commonly Associated Conditions
Blood dyscrasias such as sickle cell disease