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Idiopathic orbital inflammation (IOI) is a poorly understood disease that can cause symptoms of pain, proptosis and diplopia. The condition is considered of non-infectious origin and a diagnosis is only made after exclusion of a neoplasm, primary infection and systemic disorders. However, a recent history of upper respiratory tract infection prior to development of IOI is not uncommon.1 It has been postulated that IOI is caused by an auto-immune response that develops after an infectious trigger.2
We investigated whether IOI may have an infectious origin by using molecular techniques to identify genetic material of a panel of viruses and bacteria in tissue biopsies of patients with IOI and controls.
After ethical review board approval, 48 orbital biopsy specimens were collected at orbital clinics in Amsterdam, Maastricht, Rotterdam …