Objective: To investigate the clinical settings, management strategies, antibiotic sensitivities, and visual acuity outcomes for eyes with endophthalmitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae.
Design: Retrospective, noncomparative, consecutive case series.
Methods: The medical records were reviewed of all patients treated for culture-proven H. influenzae endophthalmitis at a single institution between January 1, 1980, and December 31, 2002.
Main outcome measures: Visual acuity and antibiotic sensitivities.
Results: The study included 16 eyes of 16 patients with a median age of 68 years (range, 6 months-83 years) and a median follow-up of 26 months (range, 2 months-15 years). Clinical settings included post-trabeculectomy (n = 7), post-cataract surgery (n = 6), post-pars plana vitrectomy (n = 1), post-secondary intraocular lens insertion (n = 1), and post-suture removal from an extracapsular cataract wound (n = 1). Eleven (69%) cases were of delayed onset (>6 weeks from surgery/event), with a median interval between surgery/event and presentation with endophthalmitis of 18 months (range, 44 days-21 years); 5 (31%) cases were of acute onset (median, 6 days; range, 2-14 days). Presenting visual acuity was hand movements or better in 7 (44%) eyes. A vitreous tap and inject was performed initially in 9 (56%) eyes, and a vitrectomy was performed initially in the remaining 7 (44%) eyes. All eyes received intravitreal antibiotics on the day of presentation, and 11 (69%) received intravitreal dexamethasone. In vitro testing of the H. influenzae isolates revealed that 14 of 16 (88%) were sensitive to vancomycin, ampicillin, and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole; 15 of 16 (94%) were sensitive to aminoglycosides (1 isolate was resistant to gentamicin); and all were sensitive to cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, and carbapenems. The organisms were sensitive to at least 1 of the initial antibiotics administered in all cases. Final visual acuity was 5/200 or better in 6 (38%) eyes, and 6 (38%) eyes had a final visual acuity of no light perception.
Conclusions: Endophthalmitis caused by H. influenzae is generally associated with poor visual outcomes despite prompt treatment with intravitreal antibiotics to which the organisms were sensitive.