• Users Online: 4067
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

   Table of Contents      
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 12  |  Page : 1167-1170

Successful use of intravitreal and systemic colistin in treating multidrug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa post-operative endophthalmitis

Department of Ophthalmology, P. D. Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Center, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission26-Apr-2013
Date of Acceptance04-Nov-2013
Date of Web Publication12-Jan-2015

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Preetam Samant
P. D. Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Center, Veer Sawarkar Marg, Mahim, Mumbai - 400 016, Maharashtra
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.126991

Rights and Permissions

We report a case series of post-operative endophthalmitis due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A total of 8 patients operated for cataract, were referred to our facility with acute onset of decreased vision 1-2 days following surgery. All patients had clinical evidence of acute exogenous endophthalmitis with severe anterior chamber exudative reaction. Ocular samples (aqueous aspirate and vitreous tap) for microbiology were taken from all eyes. Microbiology from all revealed P. aeruginosa which was resistant to all antibiotics except colistin. With prompt and accurate microbiological support it was possible to control the infection in all the eyes with the use of colistin intravitreally and intravenously which to the best of our knowledge, has been never reported. Intravitreal injection of colistin could be an option effective in the management of multi-drug-resistant endophthalmitis caused by Gram-negative bacteria.

Keywords: Cataract, colistin, endophthalmitis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa

How to cite this article:
Samant P, Ramugade S. Successful use of intravitreal and systemic colistin in treating multidrug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa post-operative endophthalmitis. Indian J Ophthalmol 2014;62:1167-70

How to cite this URL:
Samant P, Ramugade S. Successful use of intravitreal and systemic colistin in treating multidrug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa post-operative endophthalmitis. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Oct 4];62:1167-70. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ijo/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?2014/62/12/1167/126991

Endophthalmitis is an ocular inflammation resulting from the introduction of an infectious agent into the posterior segment of the eye. Post-operative endophthalmitis has been reported following nearly every type of ocular surgery. Endophthalmitis following cataract surgery is the commonest with incidence of approximately 0.1-0.3% respectively. [1] We present a case series of multidrug resistant (MDR) post cataract surgery pseudomonas endophthalmitis, treated successfully with intravitreal and intravenous (IV) colistin injection.

  Case Report Top

Eight patients four female and four male, operated for cataract surgery by phacoemulsification, were referred to our facility with acute onset of pain, redness, sticky discharge, decreased vision. At admission, all patients underwent slit-lamp examination, fundus evaluation and B-scan Ultrasonography. There were no ocular risk factors, one patient had diabetes mellitus and was on tablet daonil.

At presentation lid edema, gross corneal edema with severe anterior chamber exudative reaction was seen in three patients and remaining five patients had corneal edema with streak hypopyon and wound integrity was maintained in all patients. Two patients had only perception of light with accurate projection, three had hand movements close to face and two patients had visual acuity (VA) counting finger at one meter distance. Fundus examination was difficult due to severe corneal edema in all patients. Ultrasound demonstrated signs of severe vitreous inflammation and chorioretinal thickening.

Vitrectomy was performed in all patients within first 36 h of presentation. Aqueous and vitreous samples were sent for culture and antibiotic sensitivity. In two patients retinal detachment (RD) was found hence, vitrectomy with intraocular lens removal with silicon oil injection was done and in one patient because of necrotic nature of the peripheral retina vitrectomy with silicon oil injection was used as prophylaxis against RD and possible ocular hypotony. In all patients intravitreal injection vancomycin (1 mg/0.1 ml) + ceftazidime (2.25 mg/0.1 ml) + dexamethasone (4 mg/0.1 ml) were given intra-operatively. All vitreous and aqueous samples revealed Gram-negative bacilli on smear and similar growth on culture and fungal filaments were absent on culture. The organism was identified as Peudomonas aeruginosa. Susceptibility testing by Kirby Bauer Disc diffusion method as per latest Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines 2008 revealed sensitivity patterns in all samples. It was resistant to all antibiotics and sensitive to colistin only.

Clinically, following vitrectomy, desired favorable response was lacking and there was worsening of signs and symptoms, so based on antibiotic sensitivity report intravitreal injection colistin (0.1 mg/0.1 ml) was given in all patients. It was repeated after 48 h depending on clinical response. Topical 10 mg/ml colistin was started 1 hourly with prednisolone acetate (1%) 1 hourly and atropine sulfate 1% twice a day in all eyes. IV injection of colistin was given in all eight patients 1 million IU 12 hourly for 5 days along with IV imipenem 1 g 12 hourly. Duration of hospitalization was 5-15 days depending on the response to treatment. The visual outcome and follow-up of our patients are given in [Table 1]. At 4 weeks after treatment with colistin one patient was found to have recurrent RD with no perception of light and seven patients regained VA 6/60 or better. We looked for any gross diminution of vision, gross optic atrophy and any signs of macular infarction to rule out any obvious drug related toxicity. Hence, resolution of infection was achieved in all eyes with salvage of the globe in all cases [Figure 1].
Figure 1: (a) Right eye with redness, corneal oedema, hypopyon. (b) Resolution of infection after vitrectomy and intravitreal colistin injection

Click here to view
Table 1: BCVA on presentation and at 1 month and treatment

Click here to view

  Discussion Top

P. aeruginosa is commonest Gram-negative organism causing endophthalmitis following cataract surgery. Vitreous tap for smear and culture followed by immediate intravitreal administration of broad spectrum antibiotic and vitrectomy is the current standard of treatment. [2]

Based on the culture and antibiotic sensitivity reports, we used colistin intravenously and intravitreally for treatment of endophthalmitis due to multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, which was safe and effective.

Colistin belongs to polymyxins, a group of polypeptide antibiotics which includes five different chemical compounds (polymyxins A, B, C, D and E). Colistin binds to Gram-negative bacterial cell membrane phospholipids, producing a disruptive physiochemical effect, which leads to the cell membrane permeability changes and ultimately cell death. [3] Most Gram-negative microorganisms are susceptible to colistin, including multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii and P. aeruginosa strains. [4] Two forms of colistin are commercially available, colistin sulfate and colistimethate sodium (also called colistin methanesulfate, pentasodium colistimethanesulfate and colistin sulfonylmethate). The target of antimicrobial activity of colistin is a bacterial cell membrane. The initial association of colistin with bacterial membrane occurs through electrostatic interactions between the cationic polypeptide (colistin) and anionic lipopolysaccharide (LPS) molecules in the outer membrane of the Gram-negative bacteria, leading to derangement of the cell membrane. [5]

The endotoxin of Gram-negative bacteria is the lipid A portion of LPS molecules and colistin binds and neutralizes LPS. [6] Polymyxin E (colistin), only polymyxin B has been used in clinical practice in several countries. Polymyxin B has the same mechanism of action and resistance as does colistin. Colistin sulphate has greater activity than polymyxin B against P. Aeruginosa.[7] The main route of elimination after parenteral administration is by renal excretion with 40% of a parenteral dose recovered in the urine within 8 h and around 80% in 24 h. Because colistimethate sodium is largely excreted in the urine, dose reduction is required in renal impairment to prevent accumulation. After IV administration to healthy adults, the elimination half-life is around 1.5 h. In cystic fibrosis study patients were given a single 30 min IV infusion, the elimination 1/2 life was 3.4 ± 1.4 h. [8]

Since colistin belongs to polymyxin group of a drug, which includes aminoglycoside group of drug we tried to use recommended molar equivalent dose of this intravitreal drugs. So far there is no reference in animal models. There is no known minimal inhibitory concentration for ocular use, it is known for IV use only.

Reconstitution for parenteral administration

The normal adult dose of colistin 2 million units should be dissolved in 10-50 ml of 0.9% sodium chloride IV infusion or sterile water for injections to form a clear solution. The solution is for single use only and any remaining solution should be discarded.

Intravitreal dose was - 0.1 mg/0.1 ml (1000 IU/0.1 ml) and IV dose was 2.5-5 mg/kg daily in 2-4 doses. [9]

In our series, we used a combination of colistin with an anti-psuedomonal agent imipenem. Colistin acts by increasing the permeability of the cell membrane and thus could act synergistically with other antimicrobial agents by facilitating their entrance into the bacterial wall. [10] Toxicity, specifically nephrotoxicity is a major concern when colistin is administered, mainly because of some previous reports. We did not observe any systemic complications secondary to use of colistin in our patients.

We used colistin intravitreally as there is no documented contraindication for ocular use of this drug as the polymyxin group of drug mainly B group is used routinely for eye. At the same time nowhere in the literature it has been used intravitreally in endophthalmitis.

  Conclusion Top

Intravenous and intravitreal colistin constitutes a relatively safe and effective therapeutic intervention in cases of endophthalmitis due to MDR Gram-negative bacteria like P. aeruginosa. Gram-negative bacteria pseudomonas are the most common MDR organism, MDR is new emerging problem.

Because colistin was introduced into clinical practice over 50 years ago, it was never subject to the regulations that modern drugs are subject to and therefore there is no standardized dosing of colistin and no detailed trials on pharmacology or pharmacokinetics, the optimal dosing of colistin for most infection like endophthalmitis is therefore unknown.

In the battle against rapidly emerging bacterial resistance we can no longer relay entirely on the discovery of new antibiotics, we must also pursue rational approaches to the use of older antibiotics such as colistin for which further clinical trials are essential. Use of these new alternative groups of drugs for the management of these isolated cases will further help us to prove their efficacy and safety.

  References Top

Androudi S, Ng EW, Stangos AN, D'Amico DJ, Brazitikos PD. Postoperative endophthalmitis. In: Albert DM, Miller JW, Azar DT, Blodi BA, editors. Albert, Jakobiec's Principles and Practice of Ophthalmology. 3 rd ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 2000. p. 2325-50.  Back to cited text no. 1
Microbiologic factors and visual outcome in the endophthalmitis vitrectomy study. Am J Ophthalmol 1996;122:830-46.  Back to cited text no. 2
Evans ME, Feola DJ, Rapp RP. Polymyxin B sulfate and colistin: Old antibiotics for emerging multiresistant gram-negative bacteria. Ann Pharmacother 1999;33:960-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
Falagas ME, Kasiakou SK. Colistin: The revival of polymyxins for the management of multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacterial infections. Clin Infect Dis 2005;40:1333-41.  Back to cited text no. 4
Davis SD, Iannetta A, Wedgwood RJ. Activity of colistin against Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Inhibition by calcium. J Infect Dis 1971;124:610-2.  Back to cited text no. 5
Gough M, Hancock RE, Kelly NM. Antiendotoxin activity of cationic peptide antimicrobial agents. Infect Immun 1996;64:4922-7.  Back to cited text no. 6
Wright WW, Welch H. Chemical, biological and clinical observations on colistin. Antibiot Annu 1959;7:61-74.  Back to cited text no. 7
Li J, Milne RW, Nation RL, Turnidge JD, Smeaton TC, Coulthard K. Pharmacokinetics of colistin methanesulphonate and colistin in rats following an intravenous dose of colistin methanesulphonate. J Antimicrob Chemother 2004;53:837-40.  Back to cited text no. 8
Jaffe NS, Jaffe MS, Jaffe GF, editors. Cataract Surgery and Its Complications. 6 th ed. Singapore: Mosby; 1997. p. 376. Norman S Jaffe, Mark S Jaffe, Gary F Jaffe Cataract Surgery and Its Complications. Endophthalmitis 1997;6:376 (This is textbook reference which does not include individual authors for each chapter in book, pls note that)  Back to cited text no. 9
Conway SP, Pond MN, Watson A, Etherington C, Robey HL, Goldman MH. Intravenous colistin sulphomethate in acute respiratory exacerbations in adult patients with cystic fibrosis. Thora×1997;52:987-93.  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1]

This article has been cited by
Raul Velez-Montoya, Luz Monroy-Esquivel, Rocío Ortiz-Guevara, Hugo Quiroz-Mercado, Jans Fromow-Guerra
Retina. 2023; 43(9): 1433
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Clinical settings, management and factors affecting outcomes in multi and extensively-drug resistant Pseudomonas endophthalmitis
Srishti Raksheeth Ramamurthy, Joveeta Joseph, Vivek Pravin Dave
European Journal of Ophthalmology. 2023; : 1120672123
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Determination of the retinal toxicity of intravitreal colistin in rabbit eyes
Merve Ozbek, Mahmut Odabasi, Sevil Karaman Erdur, Fevzi Senturk, Mustafa Ozsutcu, Cengiz Aras
Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology. 2021; 40(4): 300
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Colistin resistance in Gram-negative ocular infections: prevalence, clinical outcome and antibiotic susceptibility patterns
Sanchita Mitra, Soumyava Basu, Suryasnata Rath, Srikant Kumar Sahu
International Ophthalmology. 2020; 40(5): 1307
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Antibiotic sensitivity trends of pseudomonas endophthalmitis in a tertiary eye care center in South India: A 12-year retrospective study
Utsab Pan, Aarti Jain, Joseph Gubert, Bibha Kumari, ManaviD Sindal
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology. 2020; 68(4): 627
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
6 Management of cluster endophthalmitis does not stop at clinical care
Taraprasad Das
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology. 2020; 68(7): 1249
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
7 Management of multi drug resistant endogenous Klebsiella pneumoniae endophthalmitis with intravitreal and systemic colistin
Mohit Dogra, Mansi Sharma, Deeksha Katoch, Mangat Dogra
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology. 2018; 66(4): 596
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
Case Report
Article Figures
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded491    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 7    

Recommend this journal