In the rare case of intractable, posterior, non-sphenopalatine artery epistaxis, ligation of ethmoidal arteries using an external approach like a Lynch-type incision is required. Orbital complications, especially extra-ocular motility disorders with diplopia, are known, but in the literature rarely described. Our aim was to analyse the complication type, rate, and outcome of ethmoidal artery ligation for epistaxis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Data between 2012 and 2017 of patients treated with ethmoidal artery ligation were analysed retrospectively and through a telephone interview using a non-standardized questionnaire.
Data of 18 patients (m/f = 3/15) aged 53-83 years were reviewed. Epistaxis recurred in only one patient after 1 month. Five patients (28%) suffered from diplopia shortly after surgery. Motility analysis revealed full recovery with free motility in four out of five reported cases after 4-8 months, one patient still reports intermittent mild diplopia more than 1 year postoperatively.
In patients with intractable, non-sphenopalatine artery epistaxis, anterior ethmoidal artery ligation was highly effective. Diplopia, however, occurred in one-third of our patient group. Information about motility restriction with longer standing diplopia are mandatory when consenting patients for ligation of ethmoidal arteries. Special care needs to be taken during dissection in the region of the trochlea and superior oblique muscle.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE
Case Series, level 4.