Retin Cases Brief Rep. 2024 Jan 1;18(1):71-76. doi: 10.1097/ICB.0000000000001306.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe a case of endogenous endophthalmitis (EE) after severe COVID-19 disease, review patient outcomes with EE after COVID-19 infection, and review evidence regarding risk factors for developing EE.

Methods: This is a review of health records, imaging, intravitreal injection, and pars plana vitrectomy for bilateral fungal EE after severe COVID-19 disease, and is a literature review on outcomes in EE after COVID-19 disease.

Results: Sixty-three year-old man with diabetes and hypertension was admitted to hospital for severe COVID-19 disease for 3 months. His stay required intensive care unit admission, intubation, high-dose corticosteroids, tocilizumab, and was complicated by bacteremia, empyema, and fungal esophagitis. He developed floaters and bilateral vision loss (visual acuity 20/40 in the right eye, counting fingers in the left eye) with vitritis 2.5 months into his stay that did not respond to intravitreal voriconazole. Pars plana vitrectomy was performed for both eyes, resulting in visual acuity of 20/40 in the right eye, 20/30 in the left eye. Vitreous cultures were positive for Candida albicans . Endogenous endophthalmitis after COVID-19 disease has been reported in 22 patients to date, and outcomes are poor, with 40%+ of eyes legally blind (20/200 or worse). Although influenced by availability of imaging modalities and degree of training of the evaluating physician, misdiagnosis can affect ¼ of cases, delaying treatment. Age, male sex, and diabetes increase the risk of severe COVID-19, which requires prolonged hospitalization, invasive catheterization, and immunosuppression, which in turn increases the risk of nosocomial infection.

Conclusion: Low threshold for suspecting EE in patients presenting with floaters and decreased vision after severe COVID-19 disease is necessary to ensure prompt recognition and treatment.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / surgery
  • Endophthalmitis* / diagnosis
  • Endophthalmitis* / drug therapy
  • Endophthalmitis* / etiology
  • Eye Infections, Fungal* / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vitrectomy / methods