Purpose: To report five cases of group B Streptococcus endogenous endophthalmitis (GBSEE) and to review the literature.
Design: Retrospective, noncomparative, interventional case series and literature review.
Patients: All patients with this condition treated at the Singapore National Eye Centre from 1994 through 2001.
Interventions: Core or complete vitrectomy and intravitreal and systemic antibiotics.
Methods: A review of the systemic and ocular characteristics and treatment.
Main outcome measure: Visual outcome.
Results: Group B Streptococcus endogenous endophthalmitis developed in four patients after the onset of septic arthritis and in one patient with cervical epidural abscess after acupuncture, presenting as a diffuse endophthalmitis. Group B Streptococcus was isolated in the blood, vitreous, and joints. Despite the use of high-dose intravenous antibiotics within 72 hours of ocular presentation, intravitreal antibiotic injection, and vitrectomy (two eyes), all eyes lost light perception and became phthisical. A survey of the literature revealed that GBSEE is rare and that 17 cases have been reported since 1985. For purposes of analysis, four of these cases were excluded because of inadequate details and our five cases were included. Group B Streptococcus endogenous endophthalmitis was found to arise from hematogenous spread from cutaneous sites of infection (16.7%), pharyngitis (11.1%), and pneumonia (11.1%). Septic arthritis (38.9%) and endocarditis (33.3%) were concomitant sites of infection along with endophthalmitis. The septic arthritis typically involved multiple joints. Four patients (22.2%) had diabetes mellitus and three had other underlying predisposing illness. Although most patients received intravenous (83.3%) and intravitreal (55.6%) antibiotics and four eyes underwent therapeutic vitrectomy, useful vision was preserved in only four eyes. Two patients died of sepsis.
Conclusions: Group B Streptococcus endogenous endophthalmitis is a devastating condition often associated with septic arthritis. The visual prognosis is poor, despite therapy.