Purpose: To determine the incidence of endophthalmitis following intravitreal injection of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents.
Design: A retrospective interventional case series.
Methods: A total of 10,254 intravitreal anti-VEGF injections (406 pegaptanib, 3,501 bevacizumab, and 6,347 ranibizumab) were performed from January 5, 2005 to October 18, 2007. The number of the injections was determined from the injection log books and billing records. The injections were performed as an office based procedure with use of povidone-iodine as a part of preinjection preparation. Preinjection antibiotics, eye drape, or surgical attire were not used. The main outcome measures were the incidence of suspected and proven endophthalmitis.
Results: There were three cases of suspected endophthalmitis, one case following bevacizumab injection and two cases following ranibizumab injection. There was no case of culture-proven endophthalmitis. All three patients regained their preinjection visual acuity. The incidence of suspected endophthalmitis was 0.029% (95% confidence interval, 0.006% to 0.085%). There was no difference in the incidence of endophthalmitis between ranibizumab and bevacizumab injections (P = .6).
Conclusions: Although there is no consensus regarding the intravitreal injection procedure technique, the incidence of suspected endophthalmitis was very low in a large series of injected patients in a community setting and the incidence compares favorably with that reported in clinical trials where much more extensive preinjection preparation was mandated. We found no difference in the endophthalmitis risk of patients receiving bevacizumab as compared with ranibizumab.