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M. Psolka, R.H. Birdsong, K.S. Bower, A.S. Eiseman, H.P. Fechter, M.J. Mines, W.R. Rimm, R.D. Stutzman, P.S. Subramanian, T.P. Ward; Non–Battle Ophthalmologic Referrals During Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):3969.
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To review the spectrum of eye diseases among US soldiers referred from the Iraq and Afghanistan combat theaters of operations to a tertiary care medical center.
We retrospectively reviewed the records of US military personnel referred to the Ophthalmology Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center between 1 January 2002 and 30 September 2005 with non–combat ophthalmic conditions diagnosed during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Data included patient age, gender, ocular diagnoses, associated systemic condition(s), treatment, and outcomes in terms of ability to meet military retention standards and fitness to return to duty.
A total of 430 patients identified as involved in OEF and OIF were seen by the WRAMC Ophthalmology Service during the review period. After excluding 299 trauma patients, 24 reserve component soldiers referred prior to deployment for evaluation of pre–existing conditions, and 2 patients for whom insufficient records were available, there were a total of 105 non–trauma patients included for review and analysis. The most common diagnoses were uveitis in 14/105 (13.3%), retinal detachment in 10/105 (9.5%), infectious keratitis in 6/105 (5.7%) and refractive error in 5/105 (4.8%). Ninety–two patients (87.6%) met Army retention standards and were returned to duty. Seven patients (6.7%) were referred to a Medical Evaluation Board to determine fitness for duty, while the status of six patients (5.7%) remains to be determined.
Ocular diseases affecting soldiers in combat ranged from minor to vision threatening, represented a broad variety of conditions, and required the expertise of a number of ophthalmologic subspecialists.
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