Orbital plain films as a prerequisite for MR imaging: Is a known history of injury a sufficient screening criterion?

K. J. Murphy, James A Brunberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. Before undergoing MR imaging at our institution, all patients with potential occupational, recreational, or educational exposure or known accidental exposure to kinetic metal fragments have orbital radiographs to evaluate for the continued presence of intraorbital metallic foreign bodies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential safety of a protocol that would call for obtaining plan films of the orbit before MR imaging only for patients with a definite history of a known metallic foreign body in the eye or orbit. MATERIALS AND METHODS. A total of 2636 patients underwent plain radiography of the orbit to exclude metallic foreign bodies before MR imaging between March 1991 and January 1995. These patients were identified by a billing code number. Reports from these studies, all interpreted by board- certified radiologist, were reviewed. When a metallic foreign body was detected, we reviewed the patient's response during the initial interview when asked about a history of orbital injury or surgery. RESULTS. Of 2626 patients undergoing orbital radiographic studies, 17 (0.65‰) had radiographic evidence of intraorbital metallic foreign bodies. Sixteen of these patients gave a history of known injury or had knowledge of probable orbital metallic fragments. The remaining patient, a welder screened because of occupational history, had a 3 x 1 mm metallic foreign body in his left orbit without a history of injury. CONCLUSION. Screening plain films of the orbit ar necessary when a patient has a history of a known intraocular or periorbital foreign body or when a patient has a history of occupational exposure to potential metallic ocular injury, as do welders, grinders, and metalworkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1053-1055
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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