Surveillance of endophthalmitis following cataract surgery in the UK

Eye (Lond). 2004 Jun;18(6):580-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.eye.6700645.


Aims: To estimate the incidence of acute-onset presumed infectious endophthalmitis (PIE) following cataract surgery in the UK and provide epidemiological data on the presentation, management, microbiology, and outcome of cases of endophthalmitis.

Methods: Cases were identified prospectively by active surveillance through the British Ophthalmological Surveillance Unit reporting card system, for the 12-month period October 1999 to September 2000 inclusive. Questionnaire data were obtained from ophthalmologists throughout the UK at baseline and 6 months after diagnosis. Under-reporting was estimated by independently contacting units with infection databases.

Results: Data were available on 213 patients at baseline and 201 patients at follow-up. The minimum estimated incidence of PIE was 0.086 per 100 cataract extractions and the corrected incidence was 0.14 per 100 cataract extractions. For the management of PIE, 96% of patients received intravitreal, 30% subconjunctival, 65% oral, and 17% intravenous antibiotics. In all, 17% of patients received intravitreal steroid. From the intraocular samples taken for microbiological analysis, 56% were culture positive. At follow-up, 48% of patients achieved visual acuity of 6/12 or better and 66% achieved better than 6/60. 13% of patients were unable to perceive light or had evisceration of the globe.

Conclusions: The incidence of PIE after cataract surgery in the UK is comparable to that of other studies. Approximately 50% of patients achieved a visual acuity close to the driving standard.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cataract Extraction*
  • Child
  • Endophthalmitis / diagnosis
  • Endophthalmitis / epidemiology*
  • Endophthalmitis / therapy
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / diagnosis
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / epidemiology*
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / therapy
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Visual Acuity
  • Vitrectomy