Systematic Review of 342 Cases of Endogenous Bacterial Endophthalmitis

Surv Ophthalmol. Nov-Dec 2014;59(6):627-35. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2014.06.002. Epub 2014 Jun 18.


We review a total of 342 cases of endogenous bacterial endophthalmitis reported between 1986 and 2012. Predisposing conditions were present in 60%, most commonly diabetes, intravenous drug use, and malignancy. The most common sources of infection were liver, lung, endocardium, urinary tract, and meninges. Systemic features such as fever were present in 74%, hypopyon in 35%, and an absent fundal view in 40%. Diagnostic delay occurred in 26%. Blood cultures were positive in 56%, and at least one intraocular sample was positive in 58% (comprising 26% anterior chamber samples, 59% vitreous taps, and 41% vitrectomy specimens). Worldwide, Gram negative infections (55%) were more frequent than Gram positive (45%) infections, particularly in Asia. Over the last decade, 11% of eyes were treated with systemic antibiotics alone, 10% intravitreal antibiotics alone, 36% systemic plus intravitreal antibiotics, and 20% systemic plus intravitreal antibiotics plus pars plana vitrectomy. The most commonly used intravitreal antibiotics were vancomycin (for Gram positive infection) and ceftazidime (Gram negative). The median final visual acuity was 20/100, with 44% worse than 20/200. Among all cases, 24% required evisceration or enucleation, and mortality was 4%. Both intravitreal dexamethasone and vitrectomy were each associated with a significantly greater chance of retaining 20/200 or better and significantly fewer eviscerations or enucleations-these warrant further study. For most patients, treatment should include a thorough systemic evaluation and prompt intravitreal and systemic antibiotics.

Keywords: bacterial; endogenous; endophthalmitis; metastatic.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteremia / microbiology
  • Ceftazidime / therapeutic use
  • Delayed Diagnosis
  • Endophthalmitis / diagnosis
  • Endophthalmitis / drug therapy
  • Endophthalmitis / microbiology*
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / diagnosis
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / drug therapy
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / diagnosis
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / diagnosis
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Vancomycin / therapeutic use
  • Visual Acuity
  • Vitrectomy


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Vancomycin
  • Ceftazidime