Objective: To determine the efficacy of reducing conjunctival bacteria flora with 2 different regimens of 5% povidone-iodine application: 2 drops on the conjunctiva cul-de-sac vs a 10-mL conjunctival irrigation of the fornices.
Methods: In this prospective controlled trial, 200 eyes undergoing anterior segment intraocular surgery were randomized to control and study groups. All patients from both groups received topical ofloxacin and a povidone-iodine scrub of the periorbital area before the surgical procedure. The eyes in the control group received 2 drops of povidone-iodine on the conjunctiva preoperatively, whereas eyes in the study group had irrigation of the fornices with 10 mL of povidone-iodine. Conjunctival cultures were obtained at 4 separate time points before and after surgery.
Results: Twenty (26%) of 78 eyes in the study group had positive conjunctival cultures immediately prior to surgery compared with 40 (43%) of 94 eyes in the control group (P = .02). At the conclusion of the surgery, 14 (18%) of 78 eyes and 30 (32%) of 94 eyes had positive cultures in the study and control groups, respectively (P = .05).
Conclusion: Irrigation of the fornices with 5% povidone-iodine was associated with significantly fewer positive conjunctival cultures at the time of surgery compared with the application of 2 drops on the conjunctiva.