Microbial Contamination of the Anterior Chamber During Phacoemulsification

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2002 Dec;28(12):2173-6. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(02)01493-1.


Purpose: To study the nature and frequency of anterior chamber contamination during phacoemulsification.

Setting: Department of Ophthalmology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Pondicherry, India.

Methods: Eighty eyes of 80 patients having routine phacoemulsification cataract surgery were recruited into this prospective study. Bacterial cultures from the intraoperative anterior chamber aspirates from the patients were assessed.

Results: Anterior chamber fluid aspirates were positive for bacteria in 37 eyes (46.25%). Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus was the most common aerobe and Propionibacterium acnes, the most common anaerobe.

Conclusion: Results indicate that phacoemulsification has no proven advantage over conventional extracapsular cataract extraction in reducing intraoperative bacterial contamination.

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Chamber / drug effects
  • Anterior Chamber / microbiology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aqueous Humor / microbiology
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / drug therapy
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / drug therapy
  • Intraoperative Complications / microbiology*
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Phacoemulsification / adverse effects*
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate
  • Prospective Studies


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate