Eye Radiography (X-Ray Film of the Eye)

Norm of Eye Radiography (X-Ray Film of the Eye)

Normal; no foreign bodies or masses.


Usage of Eye Radiography (X-Ray Film of the Eye)

Foreign bodies, fractures, and tumors.


Description of Eye Radiography (X-Ray Film of the Eye)

An invasive radiographic examination of the eye performed to determine the location of foreign body, tumor mass, or fracture of the orbit.


Professional Considerations of Eye Radiography (X-Ray Film of the Eye)

Consent form IS required.

Allergic reaction to contrast media (itching, hives, rash, tight feeling in the throat, shortness of breath, bronchospasm, anaphylaxis, death); renal toxicity from contrast medium.
Previous allergy to iodine, shellfish, or contrast media; pregnancy, if iodinated contrast medium is used (because of radioactive iodine crossing the blood-placental barrier); renal insufficiency.
During pregnancy, risks of cumulative radiation exposure to the fetus from this and other previous or future imaging studies must be weighed against the benefits of the procedure. Although formal limits for client exposure are relative to this risk:benefit comparison, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires that the cumulative dose equivalent to an embryo/fetus from occupational exposure not exceed 0.5 rem (5 mSv). Radiation dosage to the fetus is proportional to the distance of the anatomy studied from the abdomen and decreases as pregnancy progresses. For pregnant clients, consult the radiologist/radiology department to obtain estimated fetal radiation exposure from this procedure.



  1. Have emergency equipment readily available.
  2. Just before beginning the procedure, take a “time out” to verify the correct client, procedure, and site.



  1. After the client's head is immobilized, he or she is asked to stare at a fixed point.
  2. Oxygen is injected between the capsule and sclera to detect a foreign body or into the muscle cone to detect masses.
  3. Iodine contrast may also be injected and radiography taken within 15 minutes because of the quick absorption rate.
  4. The total examination takes 40 minutes.
  5. For more precise localization, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used.


Postprocedure Care

  1. Medicate for pain if required.


Client and Family Teaching

  1. A head immobilizer will be used because any movement will blur the radiographic images. If needed, numbing medicine will be used to minimize discomfort during the procedure.


Factors That Affect Results

  1. Motion of the client during radiography obscures the results.
  2. Artifacts in the film holder may cast shadows.


Other Data

  1. Meningiomas and papillomas are tumors that usually displace the eye.
  2. Rounding of the inferior rectus muscle indicates orbital fracture.