Aims: To investigate the intraocular penetration of vancomycin eye drops and to compare the conventional method of drop instillation to the lower cul de sac with applying drops to the medial canthus with closed lids.
Methods: This prospective randomised trial evaluated 53 eyes of 53 patients who had undergone extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) with intraocular lens implantation. Vancomycin (50 mg/ml) eye drops were applied to either the lower cul de sac with open lids (conventional method), or to the medial canthus with the patient in a supine position and with closed lids. After paracentesis performed during ECCE, an aqueous humour sample was taken and vancomycin concentration was measured using the TDX vancomycin assay (fluorescence polarisation immunoassay).
Results: Vancomycin concentration in the anterior chamber were above the minimal inhibitory concentration for Gram positive bacteria in the two methods of drop instillation examined (2.04 (SD 1.9) microg/ml and 1.49 (1.1) microg/ml in the open and closed methods, respectively (p =0.202)).
Conclusions: Vancomycin (50 mg/ml) reaches therapeutic concentration in the anterior chamber after topical drop application. Comparable concentrations were reached when drops were applied in either the lower cul de sac or to the medial canthus with closed lids. The latter method is proposed as likely to improve patient compliance.