Endogenous Bacterial Endophthalmitis. Report of a Ten-Year Retrospective Study

Ophthalmology. 1994 May;101(5):832-8.


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to report the predisposing factors, timing of symptoms, timing of diagnosis, causative organisms, source of infection, and visual outcome in cases of endogenous bacterial endophthalmitis.

Methods: The records of 28 patients with endogenous bacterial endophthalmitis who presented to our combined ophthalmology and medicine services over a 10-year period were reviewed.

Results: Ninety percent of the patients had prior medical conditions, including diabetes mellitus, gastrointestinal disorders, hypertension, cardiac disorders, and malignancy. Acute ocular symptoms were the most common reasons why the patient went to the physician (usually an ophthalmologist) rather than systemic symptoms. A correct initial diagnosis was made in 50% of patients, with a delay in diagnosis of 4 days or more in 29% of patients. Organisms were identified in 27 of the 28 patients (96% identification rate), two thirds of which were gram-positive organisms. Streptococcal species were the most common group (32% of patients), although the single most common organism was Staphylococcus aureus (25% of patients). Sources of infection were identified in 93% of patients, with endocarditis and the gastrointestinal tract being the most common. In the majority of patients, visual outcome was poor. However, six eyes that received intravenous and intravitreal antibiotics, as well as therapeutic vitrectomy, achieved visual acuities of 20/50 or better.

Conclusion: These results provide a further understanding of the manner of presentation, organisms involved, and sources of infection in endogenous bacterial endophthalmitis. They also suggest that improved outcome may be associated with early initiation of combined medical and surgical treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Endophthalmitis / diagnosis
  • Endophthalmitis / drug therapy
  • Endophthalmitis / microbiology*
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / diagnosis
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / drug therapy
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / complications
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Visual Acuity


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents