Endophthalmitis Prophylaxis Failures in Patients Injected With Intracameral Antibiotic During Cataract Surgery

Am J Ophthalmol. 2021 Jul:227:166-172. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2021.02.007. Epub 2021 Feb 8.


Purpose: To estimate the association of cefuroxime and moxifloxacin in relation to the occurrence of endophthalmitis following phacoemulsification cataract surgery.

Design: Retrospective clinical cohort study.

Methods: We studied patients with noncomplex phacoemulsification cataract surgery in Kaiser Permanente Northern California during 2014-2019. Data were obtained for acute, postoperative endophthalmitis within 90 days of phacoemulsification, including culture and antibiogram results, intracameral and topical antibiotic agent, and dose. In a post hoc analysis, we also examined preoperative anterior chamber depth (ACD) and postoperative anterior chamber volume (ACV).

Results: Of 216,141 surgeries, endophthalmitis occurred in 0.020% of moxifloxacin-injected eyes and 0.013% of cefuroxime eyes (relative risk 1.62 with 95% CI 0.82-3.20, P = .16). Of the 34 (0.016%) cases of endophthalmitis, cefuroxime 1 mg was injected into 13 eyes and moxifloxacin 0.1% into 21 eyes. Organisms with antibiograms were identified in 12 (35%) cases. Of these, bacteria recovered from cefuroxime-injected eyes were resistant to cefuroxime in all cases (4/4), with Enterococcus comprising half of these. In eyes injected with moxifloxacin 0.1%, 6 out of 7 organisms were sensitive to moxifloxacin injected with 0.1 mL and in 1 eye injected with 1 mL. Streptococcus was the most common organism recovered (6/9) in moxifloxacin-injected eyes. Preoperative ACD and postoperative calculated ACV were higher in eyes injected with moxifloxacin.

Conclusions: Endophthalmitis cases with positive cultures were generally related to organism resistance in cefuroxime eyes but to sensitive organisms in moxifloxacin eyes. Moxifloxacin doses may have been insufficient in eyes with larger ACV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Chamber / drug effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis*
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Cefuroxime / therapeutic use*
  • Endophthalmitis / diagnosis
  • Endophthalmitis / microbiology*
  • Endophthalmitis / prevention & control
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / diagnosis
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intraocular
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Moxifloxacin / therapeutic use*
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Failure


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cefuroxime
  • Moxifloxacin