The causes of visual impairment following Le Fort osteotomy for syndromic craniosynostosis have not been completely elucidated. The authors investigated the potential causes and means of prevention of optic nerve damage, with particular emphasis on intraoperative blood transfusion volume and operating time. This retrospective study evaluated patients who underwent Le Fort III osteotomy for syndromic craniosynostosis between 2000 and 2020. Data on pupillary reflex, pupil size, operating time, blood transfusion, age at time of surgery, sex, and syndrome type were obtained from medical records. Univariate analysis and multivariate analysis with the level of statistical significance set at P<0.05. For the 86 patients included, the mean values of operating time, amount of blood transfusion based on body weight, amount of blood transfusion per body weight per hour, and age were 6.0 hours (range: 3.5-12.3 h), 30.5 mL/kg (range: 0-322 mL/kg), 5.14 mL/kg/h (range: 0-35.7 mL/kg/h), and 10.0 years (range: 4-38 y), respectively. Crouzon, Apert, and Pfeiffer syndromes were observed in 49, 29, and 8 patients, respectively. Abnormal pupillary findings were observed in 27 patients of whom 25 showed no abnormalities in subsequent visual function and 2 developed blindness. Abnormal pupillary findings correlated with the amount of blood transfused per body weight (P=0.0082) and amount of blood transfused per body weight per hour (P=0.0052). As demonstrated in this study, increased intraoperative bleeding and amount of blood transfused were associated with optic nerve damage, particularly during acute bleeding. Prompt inspection of the pupils following surgery is therefore warranted.
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