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Fifteen-minute consultation: Preseptal and orbital cellulitis
  1. Jonathan Adamson1,
  2. Thomas Waterfield2
  1. 1 Emergency Department, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester, UK
  2. 2 The Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Thomas Waterfield, The Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT97BL, UK; thomas.waterfield{at}


‘It is midnight and you are called to see a thirteen-year-old boy who has been brought to the paediatric emergency department with a 24-hour history of swelling and redness of his left eye. He has had a ‘runny nose’ for a couple of days. He is systemically well. His upper and lower lids are red and swollen such that his eye is not open fully, though you elicit normal eye movements when you open his eye. Pupils are equal and reactive with no afferent pupillary defect. Visual acuity and colour vision are normal on examination.’ In this article, we consider the approach to preseptal and orbital cellulitis in children including the initial assessment and management options.

  • preseptal
  • periorbital
  • orbital
  • cellulitis
  • general paediatrics

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  • Contributors JA and TW planned the manuscript. JA wrote the body of the text. TW edited the document, added figures, questions and altered sections. All authors have agreed to the content.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.