Post-operative endophthalmitis

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For the main page on endophthalmitis, please click here
For more information on bacterial endophthalmitis, please click here
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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sara Mehrsefat, M.D. [2]
Synonyms and Keywords: Acute post-operative endophthalmitis; Delayed post-operative endophthalmitis; Acute post-cataract endophthalmitis, Delayed post-catarct endophthalmitis; Chronic post-catarct endophthalmitis; Delayed post-operative endophthalmitis; Post-intravitreal injection endophthalmitis

Overview

Post-operative endophthalmitis is an ocular inflammation resulting from the introduction of an infectious agent into the posterior segment of the eye following ocular surgeries. Nearly every type of ocular surgery may be able to disturb the eye globe integrity and contaminate the aqueous humor and/or vitreous. Cataract surgery accounts for approximately 90% of all cases of post-operative enndophthalmitis. Based on the latency of onset, post-operative endophthalmitis may be classified into acute and delayed.
*Acute post-operative endophthalmitis occurs within 1 week postoperatively in 75% of cases and is usually caused by coagulase-negative staphylococci.
*Delayed post-operative endophthalmitis occurs weeks to years following surgery and is usually caused by Propionibacterium acnes. It presents as a low-grade inflammation in the anterior chamber.
*Post-intravitreal injection endophthalmitis is another post-procedural subtype. It commonly occurs following intravitreal injection of either triamcinolone acetone or anti-vascular endothelial growth factors (anti VEGF). Intravitreal injections are generally safe; however, endophthalmitis is a rare, visually devastating complication.[1] Post-cataract endophthalmitis must be differentiated from Toxic anterior segment syndrome (TASS), uveitis, retained lens material, and dehemoglobinized vitreous hemorrhage.[2][3] The visual outcome of post operative endophthalmitis is highly correlated with the bacteriology.

Early diagnosis and treatment with antimicrobial therapy are fundamental to optimize visual outcome. Endophthalmitis is a clinical diagnosis supported by culture of intra-ocular fluids.[2][4] Laboratory studies consistent with the diagnosis of post-cataract endophthalmitis include culture, gram stain, or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of aqueous humor as well as the vitreous humor.[2][5][6] The patient needs urgent examination by an expert ophthalmologist to provide intravitreal injection of potent antibiotics and possible urgent pars plana vitrectomy as needed.[2][5]

Historical Perspective

Classification

By Latency of Onset

Based on the latency of onset, post-operative endophthalmitis may be classified into:

  • Acute post-operative endophthalmitis
  • Delayed post-operative endophthalmitis

By Infectious Organism

Post-operative enophthalmitis may be classified according to causative organisms into 2 subtypes:

Other

Another form of post operative endophthalmitis occurs following Intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF agents.

Pathophysiology

Pathogenesis

Acute post-operative endophthalmitis

Acute post-operative endophthalmitis is an ocular inflammation, which may occur within hours to days following ocular surgery. Acute post-operative endophthalmitis is primarily caused by the introduction of an infectious agent, most commonly coagulase-negative staphylococci, into the posterior segment of the eye. Nearly every type of ocular surgery may disturb the eye globe integrity and contaminate the aqueous humor and/or vitreous. Cataract surgery accounts for approximately 90% of all cases of post-operative endophthalmitis. Preoperative topical antimicrobial agents can decrease colony counts in the tear film; however, they do not sterilize the area. The exact incidence of clinical infection following eye surgery (despite the relatively high prevalence of microorganisms in the eye) is not fully understood. It is thought that low incidence of clinical infection following ocular procedures is explained by low inoculum levels, low pathogenicity, and the innate ocular defenses against infection.[2][4][7]

Delayed post-operative endophthalmitis

Post-operative endophthalmitis may occur weeks to years following surgery. It presents as a low-grade inflammation in the anterior chamber. The exact pathogenesis of delayed post-operative endophthalmitis is not fully understood. It is thought that delayed post-operative endophthalmitis is caused by either sequestration of low-virulence organisms introduced at the time of surgery or delayed inoculation of organisms to the eye through wound abnormalities, suture tracks, or filtering blebs.Propionibacterium acnes is the most common microorganism encountered in delayed post-operative bacterial endophthalmitis.[2][4] Post-operative endophthalmitis is a medical emergency. If left untreated, it may lead to panophthalmitis, corneal infiltration, corneal perforation, and permanent vision loss.

Post-intravitreal injection endophthalmitis

Post-intravitreal injection endophthalmitis occurs following intravitreal injection of either triamcinolone acetone or anti-vascular endothelial growth factors (anti VEGF). Intravitreal injections are generally safe; however, endophthalmitis is a rare visually devastating complication.[8] Post-intravitreal injection endophthalmitis is usually caused by bacterial pathogens. Bacteria can gain access into the vitreous cavity either at the time of injection or, rarely, later through the needle tract.

Common sources of infection include:

  • Contaminated needle or instruments by periocular flora
  • Contaminated drug or drug vial

Gross Pathology

On gross pathology, characteristic findings of post-operative endophthalmitis include eyelid swelling, eyelid erythema, injected conjunctiva, hypopyon, chemosis, and mucopurulunt discharge.

Microscopic Pathology

On microscopic histopathological analysis, infiltration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes or chronic inflammatory cells (depending on the duration of the inflammation) and destruction of ocular structures are characteristic findings of post-operative bacterial endophthalmitis.

Causes

Acute Post-operative Endophthalmitis

Post-operative endophthalmitis has been reported following nearly every type of ocular surgery. Common causes of acute post-operative endophthalmitis include:

Bacterial[2][4]

Fungal[9][10][11]

Delayed Post-operative Endophthalmitis

Common causes of delayed post-operative endophthalmitis include:

Bacterial[2][4]

Fungal[9][12][13][3]

Post-intravitreal Injection Endophthalmitis

Common causes of post-intravitreal injection endophthalmitis include:[14][15]

Differentiating Post-cataract Surgery Endophthalmitis from Other Diseases

Acute post-cataract endophthalmitis must be differentiated from:[2][16][17]

Delayed post-cataract endophthalmitis must be differentiated from:[2][3]

  • Uveitis
  • Sterile inflammation
  • Rebound inflammation (related to abrupt discontinuation of steroid drops)
  • Iris or vitreous incarceration in the wound (low-grade inflammation)
  • Uveitis-glaucoma-hyphema syndrome
  • Fungal endophthalmitis

Epidemiology and Demographics

Prevalence and Incidence

  • In 1910, the incidence of post-cataract endophthalmitis was estimated to be 10,000 cases per 100,000 individuals with cataract surgery.
  • Between 1970 to 1990, the incidence of post-cataract endophthalmitis was estimated to range from 72 to 120 cases per 100,000 individuals with cataract surgery.
  • Since the introduction of phacoemulsification and clear cornea incision, the incidence of post-cataract endophthalmitis is estimated to range from 300 to 500 cases per 100,000 individuals.[18][19]
  • The incidence of Post-intravitreal injection endophthalmitis is estimated to range from 20 to 50 cases per 100,000 individuals with intraocular injections.[20]

Age

Post-operative endophthalmitis (following cataract surgery) commonly affects patients older than 85 years.[4]

Gender

Post-operative endophthalmitis affects men and women equally.[4]

Geographical Distribution

In tropical regions such as India, 10–20% of all cases of acute post-cataract endophthalmitis are caused by fungi.[9]

Developed Countries

  • In the United States, post-cataract endophthalmitis is the most common form of bacterial endophthalmitis.
  • In the United States, the incidence of post-cataract endophthalmitis was estimated to range from 80 to 360 cases per 100,000 individuals with ocular surgery.[21]
  • In the United States and Europe, nearly all cases of acute post-cataract endophthalmitis are caused by bacteria.
  • In the United States, the incidence of culture-proven post-operative endophthalmitis caused by cataract surgery with or without intraocular lens (IOL) was estimated to be 80 cases per 100,000 individuals.
  • In the United States, the incidence of culture-proven post-operative endophthalmitis caused by secondary IOL placement was estimated to be 360 cases per 100,000 individuals.

Risk Factors

Common risk factors in the development of post-catarct endophthalmitis include:[4][22][23][24][25][26]

Screening

Screening for post-operative endophthalmitis is not recommended.[27]

Natural History, Complications, and Prognosis

Natural History

Post-operative endophthalmitis is a medical emergency. If left untreated, It may lead to panophthalmitis, corneal infiltration, corneal perforation, and ultimately permanent vision loss.

Complications

Common complications of post-cataract endophthalmitis include:

Prognosis

Early diagnosis and treatment with antimicrobial therapy are fundamental to optimize visual outcome.[4][28] Overall, 50% of eyes with post-cataract endophthalmitis obtain a final visual acuity 20/40 vision, and 10% obtain a final visual acuity of 20/400.[2] The visual outcome of post operative endophthalmitis is highly correlated with the bacteriology.

  • Post-operative endophthalmitis caused by streptococcus is associated with very poor visual outcome.
  • Post-operative endophthalmitis caused by coagulase-negative staphylococcus (causes milder endophthalmitis) is associated with better visual outcome than streptococci.
  • Delayed post-operative endophthalmitis is associated with particularly good prognosis with treatment.[29]

Diagnosis

Endophthalmitis is a clinical diagnosis supported by culture of intra-ocular fluids.[2][4]

History

A detailed and thorough history from the patient is necessary. Specific areas of focus when obtaining a history from a patient with post-cataract surgery endophthalmitis include:

Symptoms

  • Acute post-cataract endophthalmitis may occur within hours to few days after cataract surgery in 75% of cases.
  • Delayed post-operative endophthalmitis may occur several weeks or months after surgery and often include less virulent bacteria and only of the patients may present with eye pain.

Symptoms of post-cataract endophthalmitis may include the following:[30][22]

  • Deep eye pain
  • Decreased vision
  • Lid swelling
  • Red eye
  • Photophobia
  • Eye discharge

Physical Examination

A thorough physical and eye examination of the patient is necessary. Common ophthalmoscopic examination findings of post-operative endophthalmitis include:[2][4]

Laboratory Findings

Laboratory studies consistent with the diagnosis of post-cataract endophthalmitis include:[2][5][6]

Vitreous cultures are more likely to be positive after vitrectomy than vitreous aspirate (90% vs. 75%), and aqueous cultures are positive in 40% of all cases with endophthalmitis.

Imaging Findings

X Ray

There are no diagnostic x ray findings associated with post-operative endophthalmitis.

CT

There are no diagnostic CT scan findings associated with post-operative endophthalmitis.

MRI

There are no diagnostic MRI findings associated with post-operative endophthalmitis.

Ultrasound

On ocular ultrasonography, endophthalmitis may be characterized by anterior vitreous haze echoes and retinochoroidal thickening.[2][4]

Other Imaging Findings

Orbital echography is helpful for assessment of vitreous opacification, status of the posterior hyloid face, and retinal detachment in a post-surgical patient.[4][31]

Other Diagnostic Studies

Slit lamp examination finding

Other diagnostic studies for post-operative endophthalmitis include:[7]

Treatment

Patients with endophthalmitis require urgent examination by an expert ophthalmologist and/or vitreo-retinal specialist who will determine the need for urgent intervention to provide intravitreal injection of potent antibiotics and also prepare for an urgent pars plana vitrectomy as needed. Enucleation may be required to remove a blind and painful eye.[2][5] Systemic antibiotics are not recommended, but may be considered in severe cases, especially with orbital involvement. In delayed post-operative endophthalmitis, treatment should include vitrectomy with posterior capsulectomy and intravitreal injection.

Antimicrobial Regimens

Infectious endophthalmitis[2]

  • 1. Causative pathogens
  • 2. Empiric antimicrobial therapy
  • Preferred regimen: Vancomycin 1 mg per 0.1 mL normal saline intravitreal injection, single dose AND Vancomycin 1 g IV bid for 2 weeks AND Ceftazidime 2.25 mg per 0.1 mL normal saline intravitreal injection, single dose AND Ceftazidime 1 g IV bid for 2 weeks AND Clindamycin 600-1200 mg IV bid to qid for 2 weeks
  • Note (1): Re-injection should be considered if the infection does not improve beyond 48 hours of the first injection. Re-injection significantly increases the risk of retinal toxicity.
  • Note (2): In addition to intravitreal and systemic antibiotic therapy, vitrectomy is usually necessary
  • Note (3): Intravitreal and intravenous Amphotericin B may be added to the regimen if fungal endophthalmitis is suspected
  • 3. Pathogen-directed antimicrobial therapy
  • 3.1 Bacillus spp.
  • Preferred regimen: Vancomycin 1 mg per 0.1 mL normal saline intravitreal injection, single dose AND Vancomycin 1 g IV bid for 2 weeks AND Clindamycin 600-1200 mg IV bid to qid for 2 weeks
  • Note: In addition to antimicrobial therapy, vitrectomy is usually necessary
  • 3.2 Non-Bacillus gram-positive bacteria
  • Preferred regimen: Vancomycin 1 mg per 0.1 mL normal saline intravitreal injection, single dose AND Vancomycin 1 g IV bid for 2 weeks
  • Note: In addition to antimicrobial therapy, vitrectomy is usually necessary
  • 3.3 Gram-negative bacteria
  • Preferred regimen: Ceftazidime 2.25 mg per 0.1 mL normal saline intravitreal injection, single dose AND Ceftazidime 1 g IV bid for 2 weeks OR Amikacin 0.4 mg per 0.1 mL normal saline intravitreal injection, single dose
  • Note: Intravitreal amikacin is associated with the development of retinal microvasculitis
  • Note: In addition to antimicrobial therapy, vitrectomy is usually necessary
  • 3.4 Candida spp.
  • Preferred regimen: (Fluconazole 400-800 mg IV/PO qd for 6-12 weeks OR Voriconazole 400 mg IV/PO bid for 2 doses followed by 200-300 mg IV/PO bid for 6-12 weeks OR Amphotericin B 0.7-1.0 mg/kg IV qd for 6-12 weeks) AND Amphotericin B 5-10 microgram in 0.1 mL in normal saline intravitreal injection, single dose
  • Note (1): In addition to antimicrobial therapy, vitrectomy is usually necessary
  • 3.5 Aspergillus spp.
  • Preferred regimen: Amphotericin B 5-10 microgram in 0.1 mL normal saline intravitreal injection, single dose AND Dexamethasone 400 microgram intravitreal injection, single dose
  • Note (1): In addition to antimicrobial therapy, vitrectomy is usually necessary
  • Note (2): Repeat antimicrobial regimen in 2 days post-vitrectomy

Surgery

Vitrectomy

Vitrectomy surgically debrides the vitreous humor, similarly to draining an abscess, and is the fastest way of clearing infection in eyes with fulminant endophthalmitis.[2][5][32]

  • Vitrectomy is recommended for all patients who develop post cataract endophthalmitis
  • A vitrectomy is almost always indicated in all patients with delayed post-operative endophthalmitis

The benefits of vitrectomy include:

  • Better vitreous sample
  • Rapid and complete sterilization of the vitreous
  • Removal of toxic bacterial products
  • Enhancement of systemic antimicrobial penetration in to the eye

Prevention

Primary prevention

Effective measures for the primary prevention of post-operative endophthalmitis include:[33][34][35][36]

  • Proper sterile preparation of the surgical site
  • Sterile preparation of the skin surrounding the surgical eye with Povidone-Iodine 10%
  • Povidone-Iodine 5% onto the ocular surface (3-5 minutes prior to surgery)
  • Preoperative antibiotic propylaxis (timing, routs of delivery, and antibiotic choice in not clear)
  • Proper construction of wound, injectable intraocular lenses
  • Preoperative clinical assessment of the patient before proceeding for surgery

Secondary prevention

There are no secondary preventive measures available for post-operative endophthalmiatis. Post-operative endophthalmiatis is a medical emergency.

References

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