Objective: To assess the history, clinical course, and response to treatment of 14 patients with a bleb infection (blebitis) following glaucoma surgery.
Design: Retrospective study.
Setting: A university referral center in Atlanta, Ga.
Patients: Fourteen patients developed a bleb infection that ranged from 1 month to 22 years after glaucoma surgery. Infections were characterized by pain, a whitened bleb surrounded by intense conjunctival injection, marked anterior chamber reaction (hypopyon in six eyes), and a clear vitreous. Before infection, most blebs were described as thin. The results of Seidel's test were positive in six patients, and most patients had a low intraocular pressure without the use of any glaucoma medication.
Intervention: Treatment consisted of hospitalization, intravenous antibiotic therapy, and hourly topical fortified cefazolin sodium and gentamicin sulfate.
Results: The visual acuity in most patients improved to the level before the bleb infection, with only three eyes losing 2 or more lines of vision.
Conclusions: Bleb infection without vitreous involvement (blebitis) may be a precursor of endophthalmitis. With aggressive treatment, bleb infection appears to have a much better prognosis for visual recovery than endophthalmitis.