A systematic review of the literature on the diagnosis and management of traumatic intraocular foreign bodies (IOFBs) is presented together with a schematic ''flight plan'' to assist in clinical decision making when confronted with an IOFB. Several large retrospective series of IOFB have been published recently, with relevant observations regarding prognostic factors, endophthalmitis and retinal detachment incidence, timing of surgical intervention, and preventative measures. Eye trauma and IOFB, in particular, remain poorly suited to prospective study because of their variability. With few exceptions, retrospective observational series represent the strongest clinical evidence to guide our approach to IOFB. Synthesis of the available literature into a general guideline for management of IOFB would be helpful considering the typically hectic first few hours after such a patient presents to the ophthalmologist.
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