Endophthalmitis Caused by Haemophilus Influenzae

Ophthalmology. 2004 Nov;111(11):2023-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2004.05.018.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Endophthalmitis / diagnosis
  • Endophthalmitis / drug therapy
  • Endophthalmitis / microbiology*
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / diagnosis
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / drug therapy
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Haemophilus Infections / diagnosis
  • Haemophilus Infections / drug therapy
  • Haemophilus Infections / microbiology*
  • Haemophilus influenzae / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Visual Acuity
  • Vitrectomy
  • Vitreous Body / microbiology


  • Anti-Infective Agents