Orbital Inflammation Following COVID-19 Vaccination


Reshef ER, Freitag SK, Lee NG. Orbital Inflammation Following COVID-19 Vaccination. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2022;38(3):e67-e70.

Date Published:

2022 May-Jun 01


Three patients presented with periorbital swelling, pain with extraocular movements, and binocular diplopia 1-4 days after receiving an mRNA Coronavirus Infectious Disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccine (BNT162b2, Pfizer/BioNTech; mRNA-1273, Moderna). All patients had a normal afferent function, unilateral limitation of extraocular motility, proptosis, and periorbital inflammation. Neuroimaging of the orbits with contrast revealed inflammation and enlargement of extraocular muscles in 2 cases and the lacrimal gland in 1 case. In all 3 cases, an extensive infectious and inflammatory laboratory work-up was unremarkable and signs and symptoms of orbital inflammation rapidly improved to complete resolution after treatment with high-dose oral prednisone. This is the first reported series of orbital inflammation occurring shortly after administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. Clinicians may consider an inflammatory postvaccine etiology as an alternative to presumed idiopathic diagnosis in such cases.

Last updated on 05/31/2022