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2022 Mar 23

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg

Orbital Inflammation Following COVID-19 Vaccination.


Reshef ER, Freitag SK, Lee N G
Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 2022 Mar 23.
PMID: 35323144.


Three patients presented with periorbital swelling, pain with extraocular movements, and binocular diplopia 1-4 days after receiving an mRNA Coronavirus Infectious Disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccine (BNT162b2, Pfizer/BioNTech; mRNA-1273, Moderna). All patients had a normal afferent function, unilateral limitation of extraocular motility, proptosis, and periorbital inflammation. Neuroimaging of the orbits with contrast revealed inflammation and enlargement of extraocular muscles in 2 cases and the lacrimal gland in 1 case. In all 3 cases, an extensive infectious and inflammatory laboratory work-up was unremarkable and signs and symptoms of orbital inflammation rapidly improved to complete resolution after treatment with high-dose oral prednisone. This is the first reported series of orbital inflammation occurring shortly after administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. Clinicians may consider an inflammatory postvaccine etiology as an alternative to presumed idiopathic diagnosis in such cases.