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Effects of unilateral internal jugular vein removal on intraocular pressure
  1. R C Chan1,
  2. J W Lee2,3,
  3. J Y Chan1,
  4. J S Lai2
  1. 1Division of Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  3. 3Department of Ophthalmology, Caritas Medical Centre, Hong Kong
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jacky W Y Lee, Department of Ophthalmology, Caritas Medical Centre, 111 Wing Hong Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong; jackywylee{at}


Purpose To investigate the intraocular pressure (IOP) and retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness after ipsilateral neck dissection with internal jugular vein (IJV) removal for head and neck tumours.

Methods A computer search was performed to identify all patients who were treated with neck dissection with unilateral IJV removal from 2005 to 2012. All patients underwent a complete ophthalmological examination including measurement of IOP by Goldmann applanation tonometry and the average RNFL thickness using a Spectralis optical coherence tomography. The following analyses were made between the eyes on the side of the IJV removal versus the eye on the contralateral side: gonioscopy, IOP, vertical cup-disc ratio (VCDR) and peripapillary RNFL. Correlation analysis between the year of operation and IOP was done using the Pearson correlation coefficient.

Results This prospective cross-sectional study recruited 38 patients. The median age at operation was 59.5 years (range 33–87 years). There were 26 males and 12 females. Exactly half of the patients had left IJV removal and the remaining half had right IJV removal. The median interval from neck dissection to eye assessment was 46.5 months (range 11–97 months). There was no significant difference between the ipsilateral and contralateral side in terms of gonioscopy, IOP, VCDR, and RNFL. There was no significant correlation between the duration of IJV removal and IOP (p=0.8).

Conclusions Ipsilateral IJV removal after neck dissection did not result in any significant differences in the average peripapillary RNFL thickness or IOP compared to the contralateral eye at a mean of 46.5 months postoperatively.

  • Optic Nerve
  • Glaucoma
  • Intraocular Pressure

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