Purpose: To report 32 eyes of 27 patients with endogenous bacterial endophthalmitis seen over a 4 year period. Features and outcomes of this condition in the current series and the cases reported in the literature from 1986-1998 were reviewed.
Design: Retrospective noncomparative case series.
Participants: All patients with this condition seen at the three participating general hospitals were included.
Intervention: A review of the systemic and ocular characteristics, therapeutic methods, and final outcomes in patients afflicted with this condition.
Main outcome measures: Features studied included patients' demographic characteristics, microbiology, source of infection, ocular features, therapeutic interventions, final visual and anatomic outcomes.
Results: Nineteen (70%) of the 27 incriminating organisms in this case series were gram negative microbes, with Klebsiella pneumoniae infections alone being responsible in 16 (60%) cases. Hepatobiliary tract infection was the source of bacteremia in 13 (48%) patients. Only nine (28%) eyes obtained good final visual acuity (20/120 or better), and two eyes were enucleated/eviscerated. A literature review of 209 patients with endogenous endophthalmitis over a 12 year period showed a similar increase in the frequency of gram negative microbes as the responsible organism, especially among the East Asian population. Overall, 22% had bilateral involvement; two thirds of patients had predisposing factor(s) or underlying illness(es), and diabetes mellitus was present in 46%. Thirty-four percent of all eyes obtained counting finger or better final vision, and 16% had their eyes eviscerated or enucleated. Infections with virulent organisms (gram negative rods, Serratia, Bacillus) usually denoted a grave visual prognosis; however, a media that was not opaque on presentation was usually associated with a good prognosis.
Conclusion: Metastatic ocular infection is not uncommon despite the availability of modern antibiotic therapy. Among the East Asian population, the patient at highest risk is a diabetic patient with Klebsiella pneumoniae hepatobiliary infection. In contrast, in the Caucasian population, this condition occurs in predisposed patients with gram-positive bacteremia arising from endocarditis or skin/joint infections. The final visual outcome in patients with endogenous bacterial endophthalmitis in the recent 12 years has not differed significantly from five decades ago.