Fungal endophthalmitis following cataract surgery: clinical presentation, microbiological spectrum, and outcome

Am J Ophthalmol. 2001 Nov;132(5):609-17. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(01)01180-1.


Purpose: To determine the clinical presentation, microbiological spectrum, and outcome in cases of fungal endophthalmitis following cataract surgery.

Design: Observational case series.

Setting: Tertiary referral hospital.

Patients: Retrospective analysis of 27 cases of smear- and culture-proven fungal endophthalmitis.

Intervention: Pars plana vitrectomy in 18 eyes, where the corneal condition did not preclude the same. All eyes received intravitreal amphotericin B and dexamethasone along with systemic antifungal agents.

Main outcome measures: Functional success: Final visual acuity of 3/60 or better with attached retina. Anatomical success: Final visual acuity of better than light perception with preserved anatomy of globe.

Results: The majority of the eyes (22 of the 27) had early onset and diffuse presentation (that is, anterior segment as well as posterior vitreous exudates). Substantial corneal involvement was seen in 14 eyes (51.85%). Aspergillus sp. was the most common isolate. Multivariate analysis using forward stepwise logistic regression showed corneal involvement as the single most important risk factor in determining final visual outcome (P =.0429).

Conclusions: Early onset and diffuse presentation, which mimics bacterial endophthalmitis, stresses the importance of both bacterial and fungal cultures from intraocular fluids to reach a diagnosis apart from the clinical judgment. Corneal involvement was the most important predictor of outcome in cases of fungal endophthalmitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aspergillosis* / diagnosis
  • Aspergillosis* / drug therapy
  • Aspergillosis* / etiology
  • Candidiasis* / diagnosis
  • Candidiasis* / drug therapy
  • Candidiasis* / etiology
  • Cataract Extraction / adverse effects*
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use
  • Endophthalmitis / diagnosis
  • Endophthalmitis / drug therapy
  • Endophthalmitis / microbiology*
  • Eye Infections, Fungal* / diagnosis
  • Eye Infections, Fungal* / drug therapy
  • Eye Infections, Fungal* / etiology
  • Female
  • Fungi / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity
  • Vitrectomy
  • Vitreous Body / microbiology


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Dexamethasone
  • Amphotericin B