What is the mortality and morbidity of dacryocystitis?

Updated: Oct 08, 2019
  • Author: Grant D Gilliland, MD; Chief Editor: Edsel Ing, MD, MPH, FRCSC  more...
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Dacryocystitis occurs in the following 3 forms: acute, chronic, and congenital.

In acute dacryocystitis, patients can experience severe morbidity and rarely mortality. Morbidity is related primarily to the lacrimal sac abscess and spread of the infection.

Chronic dacryocystitis is rarely associated with severe morbidity unless caused by a systemic disease. The primary morbidity is associated with chronic tearing, mattering, and conjunctival inflammation and infection.

Congenital dacryocystitis is a very serious disease associated with significant morbidity and mortality. If not treated promptly and aggressively, newborn infants can experience orbital cellulitis (because the orbital septum is formed poorly in infants), brain abscess, meningitis, sepsis, and death. Congenital dacryocystitis can be associated with an amniotocele, which, in severe cases, can lead to airway obstruction. More indolent forms of congenital dacryocystitis can be difficult to diagnose and can be associated with chronic tearing, mattering, amblyopia, and failure to thrive.

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