Screening test for detection of metallic foreign objects in the orbit before magnetic resonance imaging

Pamela M. Otto, Randal A. Otto, Chat Virapongse, Scott M. Friedman, Scott Emerson, King C.P. Li, Ross Malot, Juri V. Kaude, Edward V. Staab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Rationale and objectives. A study was designed to determine whether plain films, used as a screening modality for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), could reliably detect intraorbital metallic foreign objects. METHODS. In the first experiment, 20 metal particles were placed in five human cadaver orbits. Routine orbital plain film series and computed tomography (CT) were obtained, randomized, and interpreted blinded by three experienced radiologists. RESULTS. The threshold size of particle detection for CT (0.07 mm3) was lower than for plain films (0.12 mm3). Placing metal particles in artificial and true vitreous demonstrated that all particles moved under a magnetic field at 1.5 T. When human globes were exposed to industrial tools (grinder, bandsaw, air hose, etc.), no metal objects penetrated the sclera. CONCLUSIONS. Plain films can be used as a low-cost, low-radiation screening procedure for high-risk patients with occupations involving metal work. CT should be used for patients with a history of eye trauma from other causes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-311
Number of pages4
JournalInvestigative Radiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Computed tomography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Orbit
  • Orbital foreign body
  • Screening procedure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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