Seventy patients referred with a diagnosis of endophthalmitis underwent anterior chamber and vitreous taps with intracameral antibiotic injections. Fifty-four eyes were culture positive, 34 (63%) after previous intraocular surgery, 12 (22%) had sustained penetrating trauma, and 8 (15%) resulted from a metastatic infection. Of 61 total isolates, 48 (79%) were gram positive, 9 (15%) were gram negative, and 5 (8%) were fungi. Visual recovery after surgery was related to the relative virulence of the organisms isolated. Twenty-four (44%) eyes achieved 20/400 or better vision, but only seven (13%) obtained 20/40 or better vision. Patients with a markedly abnormal ERG operatively demonstrated poor visual acuity recovery, while patients with near normal ERG recovered better vision. The authors currently recommend vitrectomy in patients with endophthalmitis whenever the retina cannot be visualized.