Conjunctival chemosis: A case series of systemic causes

  • David P Roncone Cleveland VA Medical Center
  • Scott A Anthony Cleveland VA Medical Center
Keywords: conjunctival chemosis, periorbital edema, cutaneous, superior vena cava syndrome, hypervolemia

Abstract

Conjunctival chemosis is a common ophthalmic finding that presents with a wide range of severity, symptoms, signs, and underlying etiologies. Although most cases of conjunctival chemosis are ocular in nature (allergy, infection, irritation), atypical presentations such as dusky conjunctival hue, corkscrew conjunctival veins, and periorbital edema, should prompt further investigation for a systemic cause.  In atypical cases, reviewing the patient’s medical history and medications, physically examining and auscultating the patient’s heart and lungs, and obtaining vitals (i.e. blood pressure, pulse, weight), are crucial parts of the investigation for a potential systemic source. This article reviews systemic causes for conjunctival chemosis and provides case examples to demonstrate evaluative and management techniques for optometrists to make a distinction between ocular and systemic conjunctival chemosis.   

Author Biographies

David P Roncone, Cleveland VA Medical Center

Dr. Roncone is the Optometry Residency Program Coordinator at the Cleveland VA Medical Center. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Optometry Cornea, Contact Lenses, and Refractive Technologies Section. He is also board certified by the American Board of Certification in Medical Optometry. He has been published numerous times, has lectured nationally, and has served in leadership positions for The Ohio Vision Foundation, The Ohio Optometric Association, and The American Academy of Optometry.  He holds adjunct faculty appointments at The Ohio State University College of Optometry, Illinois College of Optometry, and Case Western Reserve University College of Medicine.

Scott A Anthony, Cleveland VA Medical Center

Dr. Anthony is the Chief of Optometry at the Cleveland VA Medical Center. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. He has been published in numerous journals and as lectured nationally.He holds adjunct faculty appointments at The Ohio State University College of Optometry, Illinois College of Optometry, and Case Western Reserve University College of Medicine.

Published
2020-02-21
How to Cite
Roncone, D., & Anthony, S. (2020). Conjunctival chemosis: A case series of systemic causes. Canadian Journal of Optometry, 82(1), 63-79. https://doi.org/10.15353/cjo.v82i1.727