The role of interventional radiology in the treatment of epiphora

Francesca Patella, Silvia Panella, Stefania Zannoni, Maria Laura Jannone, Filippo Pesapane, Salvatore Alessio Angileri, Sara Sbaraini, Anna Maria Ierardi, Simone Soldi, Giuseppe Franceschelli, Gianpaolo Carrafiello


Epiphora is a relatively common ophthalmologic affection representing almost 5% of clinical consultations in ophthalmology and it consists in the complete or partial obstruction of nasolacrimal duct, leading to insufficient drainage of tears. The traditional treatment is represented by surgery namely, external dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR). Despite the high success rate DCR has many disadvantages and limitations since it requires general anesthesia, it may arise in a permanent facial scar and it is often affected by the reobstruction of the anastomotic tract by fibrotic scars and osteogenic activity. Fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures are a therapeutic alternative to surgery for lacrimal duct system obstructions that can consist either in balloon dacryocystoplasty or in nasolacrimal stent placement. In both cases, a pre-operative imaging characterization of the occlusion is needed for a correct treatment planning. In this review, we propose to highlight the role of interventional radiology in the treatment of epiphora and the role of computed tomography dacryocystography (CTD) in depiction and the pre-interventional planning.