Objective: To determine the incidence of acute endophthalmitis following penetrating keratoplasty (PK) over time.
Methods: A systematic review of English-language articles was conducted by performing a broad search of the PubMed database from 1963 through March 2003 using such keywords as penetrating keratoplasty, endophthalmitis, and postoperative complication. Additional studies were identified from bibliographies of relevant articles and published proceedings. The proportion of eyes with acute endophthalmitis as a postoperative complication was recorded, and pooled incidence rates were assessed over time.
Results: From 1870 unique, potentially relevant citations, 66 original studies that addressed endophthalmitis and met the selection criteria were analyzed. A total of 90 549 PKs were pooled, resulting in an overall estimate of 0.382% post-PK endophthalmitis, but a change over time was noted. The rate of endophthalmitis was 0.200% in the 2000-2003 period, 0.453% in the 1990s, 0.376% in the 1980s, and 0.142% during the 1970s. Furthermore, a downward trend in the incidence of endophthalmitis after 1992 was observed compared with 1991 and earlier.
Conclusions: This systematic review indicates that the incidence of endophthalmitis associated with PK has declined during the last decade.