Fungal endophthalmitis: fourteen years' experience from a center in India

Retina. 2008 Nov-Dec;28(10):1400-7. doi: 10.1097/iae.0b013e318185e943.


Background: As fungal endophthalmitis is an emerging challenge, the study was carried out to determine the prevalence and the spectrum of fungal agents causing endophthalmitis from a single center, to identify the risk factors, and to correlate clinical course of illness with the agents involved.

Methods: The microbiological and clinical records of all fungal endophthalmitis diagnosed during January 1992 through December 2005 at a tertiary center in India were reviewed retrospectively. During this period, treatment protocol of the patients with fungal endophthalmitis was pars plana vitrectomy, instillation of intravitreal amphotericin B (5 microg) and dexamethasone (400 microg). Additionally, oral fluconazole (27 patients) or itraconazole (78 patients) was given in 105 patients.

Results: Fungal endophthalmitis was diagnosed in 113 patients and they were categorized into: postcataract surgery (53 patients), posttrauma (48), and endogenous (12) groups. Aspergillus species was the most common (54.4%) agent isolated, followed by yeasts (24.6%), and melanized fungi (10.5%). Among Aspergilli, Aspergillus flavus was the most common (24.6%) species whereas Candida tropicalis (8.8%) was in the yeast. Other rare agents isolated include Fonsecaea pedrosoi, Fusarium solani, Paecilomyces lilacinus, Pseudallescheria boydii, Colletotrichum dematium, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Trichosporon cutaneum. Visual acuity after therapy remained <20/400 in 77.4%, 64.3%, 50.0%, and 16.7% patients infected with Aspergillus species, yeasts, melanized fungi and other mycelial fungi, respectively. The outcome was unfavorable in 52.8%, 66.7%, and 33.3% patients with postoperative, posttrauma, and endogenous groups, respectively.

Conclusions: This study is the largest series of fungal endophthalmitis from a single center and highlights the fact that a vast array of fungi can cause endophthalmitis though Aspergilli are the common agents. The combination of pars plana vitrectomy and intravitreal amphotericin B with or without fluconazole/itraconazole was the common mode of therapy in such patients. However, the main challenge is suspecting fungal etiology at the time of presentation and accurately diagnosing those patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aqueous Humor / microbiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Endophthalmitis / diagnosis
  • Endophthalmitis / drug therapy
  • Endophthalmitis / microbiology*
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / diagnosis
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / drug therapy
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Fungi / isolation & purification
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycological Typing Techniques
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Vitreous Body / microbiology


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Glucocorticoids