A prospective study demonstrating the effect of 5% povidone-iodine application for anterior segment intraocular surgery in Paraguay

Arq Bras Oftalmol. Mar-Apr 2010;73(2):125-8. doi: 10.1590/s0004-27492010000200005.


Purpose: To determine the conjunctival bacterial flora in cataract surgery patients and the effect of presurgical irrigation with 5% povidone-iodine solution.

Methods: Three samples from the inferior conjunctival fornix of the eye to be operated were obtained at baseline before washing (T0) with 10 ml 5% povidone-iodine solution, immediately after washing (T1), and upon completion of surgery (T2). Bacteria from the samples were inoculated in blood agar, chocolate agar, and thioglycolate broth.

Results: A total of 221 patients (n=224 eyes) with a mean age of 67 +/- 13 years were included in the study. Bacteria from the (T0) samples were successfully grown in 73.2% of the thioglycolate agars, 21.0% of the blood agars, and 19.2% of the chocolate agars. Compared with T1 samples, the use of povidone-iodine wash translated into a 60.8% reduction (from 73.2% to 12.5%) in colonization of the conjunctiva (p<0.001), while no significant difference was found between the T1 and T2 samples.

Conclusion: Conjunctival irrigation with a 5% povidone-iodine solution effectively reduces conjunctival flora and is therefore strongly recommended as a means of preventing postsurgical endophthalmitis following cataract surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Aged
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Cataract Extraction*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Conjunctiva / microbiology*
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Povidone-Iodine / administration & dosage*
  • Preoperative Care / methods*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Povidone-Iodine