Predicting visual function after an ocular bee sting

Int Ophthalmol. 2019 Jul;39(7):1621-1626. doi: 10.1007/s10792-018-0978-z. Epub 2018 Aug 13.


Purpose: To report a case of toxic optic neuropathy caused by an ocular bee sting.

Methods: Case report and literature review.

Results: A 44-year-old female presented with no light perception vision 2 days after a corneal bee sting in her right eye. She was found to have diffuse cornea edema with overlying epithelial defect and a pinpoint penetrating laceration at 6 o'clock. There was an intense green color to the cornea. The pupil was fixed and dilated with an afferent pupillary defect. A small hyphema was seen, and a dense white cataract had formed. A diagnosis of toxic endophthalmitis with associated toxic optic neuropathy was made. The patient underwent pars plana vitrectomy and lensectomy with anterior chamber washout. She was also placed on systemic broad-spectrum antibiotics. She had noted clinical improvement over the course of her hospitalization and was discharged with light perception vision. A corneal opacity precluded viewing of the fundus. We utilized ganzfeld electroretinography and flash visual evoked potentials (2 and 10 Hz) to assess the visual function. Both tests were normal and predicted improvement following restorative surgery. She underwent a secondary lens implantation with penetrating keratoplasty 7 months later. This was followed by an epiretinal membrane peel 1 year after the bee sting. Her best corrected visual acuity improved to 20/80.

Conclusion: Toxic endophthalmitis and toxic optic neuropathy can be complications of ocular bee sting. We discuss the management of this rare occurrence and the role of electroretinographic testing and visual evoked potentials in predicting visual outcome.

Keywords: Electroretinogram; Ocular bee sting; Toxic optic neuropathy; Visual evoked potential.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Bees*
  • Electroretinography
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insect Bites and Stings / complications*
  • Insect Bites and Stings / diagnosis
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / diagnosis
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / etiology*
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / physiopathology
  • Prognosis
  • Visual Acuity*