Vancomycin-Associated Hemorrhagic Occlusive Retinal Vasculitis: A Case Series and Systematic Review

Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina. 2022 Dec;53(12):702-712. doi: 10.3928/23258160-20221026-03. Epub 2022 Dec 1.


This study describes three unilateral cases of hemorrhagic occlusive retinal vasculitis (HORV) after cataract surgery and a review of the literature until February 2022, including 21 articles reporting HORV cases. Altogether, 61 eyes (41 patients) were included. Twenty patients had bilateral and 21 patients had unilateral HORV. Prophylactic vancomycin was given to all patients. Additional vancomycin use was associated with the worst outcome. The mean time to HORV was 9 days post-cataract surgery. In bilateral cases, the median time between surgeries was 7 days. Visual acuity was < 20/400 in 48%, with no light perception in 20%. Neovascular glaucoma developed in 43%. Central macular thickening or hyperreflectivity of the inner retinal layers on optical coherence tomography was associated with worse outcomes. Corticosteroid treatment, early panretinal laser photocoagulation, or anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy, and prophylaxis alternative to vancomycin is recommended. [Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina 2022;53:702-712.].

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Cataract* / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Retinal Vasculitis* / chemically induced
  • Retinal Vasculitis* / diagnosis
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Vancomycin / adverse effects


  • Vancomycin
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents