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Suspected bacterial endophthalmitis following intravitreal anti-VEGF injection: case series and literature review.

Ophthalmologica 2012, vol. 228, issue 3


To report an up-to-date overview of all patients reported in the literature with suspected bacterial endophthalmitis following anti-VEGF injection. Secondly, to identify specific symptoms and signs to differentiate between infectious and noninfectious endophthalmitis.


A Pubmed search retrieved 12 retrospective case series which had included a total of 118 patients with suspected bacterial endophthalmitis after anti-VEGF injection. Data of 15 patients from the Rotterdam Eye Hospital were added. Patients were divided into three groups: those who did not receive intravitreal antibiotics (group A), patients who received intravitreal antibiotics with biopsy-negative cultures (group B) and those with biopsy-positive cultures (group C).


The median time between anti-VEGF injection and presentation with suspected bacterial endophthalmitis was 1 day in group A compared to 3 days in groups B and C. At presentation, patients of group A had a better median visual acuity (logMAR 1.0) compared to those in groups B and C (logMAR 2.1 and 2.5, respectively).


This study suggests that patients presenting with a visual acuity of 20/200 (logMAR 1.0) or less and later than 24 h after injection are more likely to have bacterial endophthalmitis. To prevent undertreatment in these patients, the threshold to proceed to vitreous biopsy and empirical intravitreous antibiotics should be low.

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