Developmental defects of the orbit can manifest clinically at any time from conception until late in life. Most significant congenital anomalies of the eye and orbit are apparent on ultrasonography, performed before birth. The more profound the abnormality, the earlier in development it occurred. Identifying the embryologic origin of the congenital malformation helps ophthalmologists understand and classify the physical changes in the patient.
If an anomaly is caused by a slowing or cessation of a normal stage of development, the resulting deformity can be considered a pure arrest.
In the examination of the child with an ocular or craniofacial malformation, the clinician should focus on carefully defining the severity of the defect and identifying associated changes. Some syndromes may have specific associated ocular changes or secondary ocular complications such as exposure keratitis or strabismus related to orbital maldevelopment.
See Section 6, Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, for detailed discussion, including illustrations, of many of the topics covered in this chapter.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 10 - Glaucoma. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.