Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Search Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
  • Users Online: 7199
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

   Table of Contents      
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 12  |  Page : 1403-1406

Redefining evidence in the management of acute post-cataract surgery endophthalmitis in India - The 2014 Adenwalla Oration, All India Ophthalmological Society

Srimati Kanuri Santhamma Center of Vitreo retinal Disease, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Date of Submission19-Aug-2017
Date of Acceptance07-Sep-2017
Date of Web Publication5-Dec-2017

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Taraprasad Das
L V Prasad Eye Institute, Road # 2, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500 034, Telangana
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_755_17

Rights and Permissions

The current evidence of postoperative endophthalmitis management in three important components of care-infection control, inflammation control, and prevention was reviewed, and their current relevance and application in an Indian context were evaluated. The publications from India indicated that Gram-negative bacterial and filamentous fungal infections are relatively higher. There are increasing instances of resistance to ceftazidime by Gram-negative microorganisms. Intravitreal dexamethasone limits inflammation in bacterial endophthalmitis when given together with the intravitreal antibiotics. Intracameral antibiotic could reduce postcataract surgery infection at least in less rigorous surgical environment. Systematic collection of data and periodic evaluation of the current practice against the new evidence are necessary to prevent or treat postcataract surgery endophthalmitis.

Keywords: Cataract surgery, endophthalmitis, evidence, management

How to cite this article:
Das T. Redefining evidence in the management of acute post-cataract surgery endophthalmitis in India - The 2014 Adenwalla Oration, All India Ophthalmological Society. Indian J Ophthalmol 2017;65:1403-6

How to cite this URL:
Das T. Redefining evidence in the management of acute post-cataract surgery endophthalmitis in India - The 2014 Adenwalla Oration, All India Ophthalmological Society. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Mar 2];65:1403-6. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2017/65/12/1403/219867

Postoperative endophthalmitis is an inflammatory condition of the eye, presumably due to an infectious process, usually from bacteria and fungi that enter the eye in the perioperative period. The incidence of postoperative endophthalmitis after cataract surgery has decreased dramatically over the last decades, from over 2% in 1920 to the current incidence of around 0.05%.[1] In three large Indian cohort studies, the incidence of endophthalmitis was <0.1%.[2],[3],[4] This is due to increase in our knowledge in the understanding of the cause, treatment, and prevention of this dreaded complication of cataract surgery. The increase in our knowledge is based on a number of studies, several seminal publications, and evidence. They are the basis of the current standard of care. However, the standard of care changes from time to time as new evidence emerges. In this communication, the current standard of care in acute postcataract surgery endophthalmitis was examined vis-a-vis the newly generated evidence in an Indian context.

There are three components of postoperative endophthalmitis care-infection control, inflammation control and prevention of such an event. These three components are described subsequently.

Infection control

The mainstay of infection control in infective endophthalmitis is injection of intravitreal antibiotics. The current recommendation is to inject two antibacterial antibiotics, one that acts against Gram-positive microorganism and the other that acts against Gram-negative microorganism. The initial suggestion of intravitreal antibiotic emerged from the seminal works of Peyman et al.,[5] but over years, this has changed from aminoglycosides (gentamicin, amikacin) to β-lactam antibiotics (fourth-generation cephalosporin-ceftazidime) for Gram-negative bacilli and from cefazolin ( first-generation cephalosporin) to vancomycin (glycopeptide antibiotic) for Gram-positive cocci. Antifungal antibiotic has never been considered as the primary care because of lower incidence of postcataract surgery acute fungal endophthalmitis.

The current practice of infection control is guided by the Endophthalmitis Vitrectomy Study (EVS).[6] The EVS was a prospective randomized trial that studied the utility of systemic antibiotics and benefit of immediate vitrectomy in acute postcataract surgery endophthalmitis. The study showed that systemic antibiotics did not alter the outcome; instead, the presenting vision influenced the decision for immediate/deferred vitrectomy. The EVS also identified Gram-positive cocci as the most common infecting organism and Staphylococcus epidermidis was the most common Gram-positive cocci.[7] The EVS recommended the treatment of acute postcataract surgery endophthalmitis as follows: (1) all patients receive two intraocular antibiotics (vancomycin 1 mg in 0.1 ml against Gram-positive cocci, and ceftazidime 2.25 mg in 0.1 ml against Gram-negative bacilli), (2) vitreous biopsy be done (and microbiology study, where possible) in patients with presenting vision of hand motions or more, and vitrectomy be done for patients with presenting vision of light perception or less (vitrectomy in all diabetics irrespective of presenting vision), and (3) oral corticosteroids (1 mg/kg body weight and tapered after a 7–10 days) be started a day after the intravitreal intervention (with biopsy or vitrectomy).

We looked at these data in Indian context and evidence. Our published data showed that while Gram-positive cocci was indeed the most common infecting organism in postcataract surgery endophthalmitis, Gram-negative bacterial infection occurred in quarter of the time, and fungal infection occurred in close to one-fifth of time.[8] There are similar reports from two Asian countries, China and Singapore.[9],[10] [Table 1] compares the Asian reports (India, China, and Singapore) with the North American EVS [6] and European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) reports.[11]
Table 1: Microbiology of endophthalmitis

Click here to view

We also observed that while vancomycin had a close to 100% sensitivity toward Gram-positive cocci, ceftazidime sensitivity toward Gram-negative bacilli was not >61%. This could relate to different kind of Gram-negative organisms, predominantly Proteus mirabilis in the EVS and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in our study. The Chennai group and we also compared the infecting microorganisms in different time periods the Chennai group between 2001 and 2007 and we between 1999 and 2012.[4],[13],[14] These studies showed that Gram-negative infection is consistently between 30% and 40% and that P. aeruginosa continues to be the predominant Gram-negative infection [Table 2].
Table 2: Comparison of the spectrum of microorganism in two Indian institutions in different time frames

Click here to view

Our current data also suggest increasing resistance of P. aeruginosa to ceftazidime [15] and sensitive to imipenem.[16] Should this be true, imipenem should replace ceftazidime as the primary drug of choice for intravitreal antibiotic against Gram-negative bacteria. Imipenem inhibits cell wall synthesis of various Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. It remains very stable in the presence of β-lactamase (both penicillinase and cephalosporinase) produced by some bacteria and is a strong inhibitor of β-lactamases from some Gram-negative bacteria that are resistant to the most β-lactam antibiotics (such as ceftazidime).[17]

Inflammation control

Inflammation is an important component of infective endophthalmitis. The EVS used oral corticosteroid (1 mg/kg of body weight) a day after the intravitreal antibiotics therapy and tapered over a period of time. Intravitreal corticosteroid was not a part of the EVS protocol. Animal studies have shown the utility of intravitreal corticosteroids in bacterial endophthalmitis.[18] Our prospective randomized trial of intravitreal dexamethasone in postoperative and traumatic endophthalmitis study demonstrated that intravitreal dexamethasone reduced inflammation faster in both culture-positive and culture-negative endophthalmitis compared to the eyes that did not receive intravitreal dexamethasone and that it did not affect the final visual outcome.[19] We also demonstrated that intravitreal triamcinolone dramatically reduces inflammation in recalcitrant situation where the eye is already sterilized by the sensitive intravitreal antibiotic.[20]

We recommend and routinely use intravitreal dexamethasone (400 μg in 0.1 ml) in all cases of postcataract surgery acute endophthalmitis (presumably all acute infections are caused by bacteria) along with intravitreal antibiotics. We have reported the benefit of this treatment strategy, vitrectomy plus intravitreal antibiotics, and dexamethasone in two different cluster endophthalmitis, where more than half patients regained good vision (>20/40) and three-quarters of them regained ambulatory vision (>20/100)[21],[22] [Table 3].
Table 3: Treatment outcome of cluster endophthalmitis

Click here to view

Infection prevention

Primarily based on the seminal study of Speaker et al.,[23] the current strategy of infection prevention is directed to the patient's conjunctival flora as much as controlling the environment and medical supply. In an experimental study, we have shown that vancomycin contact reduces S. epidermidis adherence on poly-methyl methacrylate intraocular lens.[24] The ESCRS studied the benefits of intracameral cefuroxime in prevention of acute bacterial endophthalmitis.[12] They chose cefuroxime because of its known activity against Gram-positive bacteria and the predominant infecting organisms in postcataract surgery endophthalmitis (In the ESCRS analysis, 95% of infecting organisms were Gram-positive cocci). This study recommended routine use of intracameral antibiotics such as cefuroxime at conclusion of cataract surgery to prevent or significantly reduce infection in these patients. Several recent studies from the USA, the Middle East, and India have shown benefits of intracameral antibiotics in cataract surgery.[25],[26],[27] Other intracameral antibiotics used at various times are cefazolin, vancomycin, and moxifloxacin.

We examined this recommendation in a prospective study where over 7000 consecutive patients did not receive intracameral cefuroxime (Group 1) and another 7000 plus consecutive patients received intracameral cefuroxime (Group 2). Culture- positive endophthalmitis was 0.09% (clinical endophthalmitis, 0.155%) in the eyes that did not receive intracameral cefuroxime, and it was 0.04% (clinical endophthalmitis, 0.108%) in the eyes that received intracameral cefuroxime. While the culture-positive endophthalmitis rate reduced by half, the odds of clinically diagnosed postoperative infection were 1.42, should one chose not to inject intracameral cefuroxime; this was not statistically significant.[28] Equally important was the fact that six of seven microorganisms were Gram-positive cocci in Group 1 (no intracameral group), and two of three microorganisms were Gram-negative bacilli in Group 2 (intracameral group). This study did not find compelling reasons to recommend routine use of intracameral cefuroxime during cataract surgery. While there are mounting evidence for routine use in all cases,[29],[30] there are also logics against such indiscriminate use.[31] In the absence of further evidence, one could consider intracameral antibiotic in high-risk situations such as diabetics, one-eyed individuals, prolonged surgery, vitreous loss during cataract surgery, very elderly persons, and immunocompromised patients (some of them defined by the EVS [6]) to avoid an overuse and cause bacterial resistance later.

  Conclusion Top

Effective treatment of a given case of endophthalmitis, in specific, and prevention of postoperative endophthalmitis, in general, are necessarily constant goals of every ophthalmic surgeon. The current evidence suggests good outcome when infection is detected early and treated appropriately. There is agreement that intravitreal antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment in infective endophthalmitis. However, due to changing profile of sensitivity, one could consider a change in the selection of primary intravitreal antibiotics.[32] There is also a general consensus that systemic therapy does not necessarily add additional benefit. However, contrary to the EVS recommendation of confining immediate vitrectomy to the eyes with light perception or less, more often immediate vitrectomy is preferred irrespective of the presenting vision.[9] Prevention of such a dreaded complications is equally important. In addition to the meticulous preparation of eye and the skin around the eye with povidone-iodine, should one consider injecting an intracameral antibiotic? Such an attempt was done earlier in South India community cataract surgical camps with a reported beneficial effect.[33] While intravitreal gentamicin used earlier could be replaced with another antibiotic today, the chosen antibiotic should have broader coverage for both Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms. Close to 70% of cataract surgeons who responded to a 2012 Singapore nationwide survey admitted to not using any intracameral antibiotic. While the reasons were the fear of toxicity, the effort of antibiotic preparation, and additional cost, many did not agree with the benefit of this procedure too.[34] At the same time, 54% stated to consider to using intracameral antibiotic routinely should such a ready-to-use preparation were available. Currently, cefuroxime (Aprokam™ by Thea) and moxifloxacin (Promox™ by Aurolab) are commercially available in Europe and India, respectively. While intracameral cefuroxime is now a standard of care in Europe, one has to wait if this becomes a standard of care globally. It is necessary to weigh the benefit against the risk of emergence of resistant strains.

Financial support and sponsorship

Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation, Hyderabad, India.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Pathengay A, Khera M, Das T, Sharma S, Miller D, Flynn HW Jr., et al. Acute postoperative endophthalmitis following cataract surgery: A Review. Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila) 2012;1:35-42.  Back to cited text no. 1
Ravindran RD, Venkatesh R, Chang DF, Sengupta S, Gyatsho J, Talwar B, et al. Incidence of post-cataract endophthalmitis at Aravind Eye Hospital: Outcomes of more than 42,000 consecutive cases using standardized sterilization and prophylaxis protocols. J Cataract Refract Surg 2009;35:629-36.  Back to cited text no. 2
Das T, Hussain A, Naduvilath T, Sharma S, Jalali S, Majji AB, et al. Case control analyses of acute endophthalmitis after cataract surgery in South India associated with technique, patient care, and socioeconomic status. J Ophthalmol 2012;2012:298459.  Back to cited text no. 3
Jambulingam M, Parameswaran SK, Lysa S, Selvaraj M, Madhavan HN. A study on the incidence, microbiological analysis and investigations on the source of infection of postoperative infectious endophthalmitis in a tertiary care ophthalmic hospital: An 8-year study. Indian J Ophthalmol 2010;58:297-302.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Peyman G, Lee P, Seal DV. Endophthalmitis: Diagnosis and Management. London: Taylor & Francis; 2004.  Back to cited text no. 5
Results of the endophthalmitis vitrectomy study. A randomized trial of immediate vitrectomy and of intravenous antibiotics for the treatment of postoperative bacterial endophthalmitis. Endophthalmitis Vitrectomy Study Group. Arch Ophthalmol 1995;113:1479-96.  Back to cited text no. 6
Han DP, Wisniewski SR, Wilson LA, Barza M, Vine AK, Doft BH, et al. Spectrum and susceptibilities of microbiologic isolates in the Endophthalmitis Vitrectomy Study. Am J Ophthalmol 1996;122:1-7.  Back to cited text no. 7
Kunimoto DY, Das T, Sharma S, Jalali S, Majji AB, Gopinathan U, et al. Microbiologic spectrum and susceptibility of isolates: Part I. Postoperative endophthalmitis. Endophthalmitis Research Group. Am J Ophthalmol 1999;128:240-2.  Back to cited text no. 8
Sheng Y, Sun W, Gu Y, Lou J, Liu W. Endophthalmitis after cataract surgery in china, 1995-2009. J Cataract Refract Surg 2011;37:1715-22.  Back to cited text no. 9
Wong TY, Chee SP. The epidemiology of acute endophthalmitis after cataract surgery in an Asian population. Ophthalmology 2004;111:699-705.  Back to cited text no. 10
Seal D, Reischl U, Behr A, Ferrer C, Alió J, Koerner RJ, et al. Laboratory diagnosis of endophthalmitis: Comparison of microbiology and molecular methods in the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons multicenter study and susceptibility testing. J Cataract Refract Surg 2008;34:1439-50.  Back to cited text no. 11
Anand AR, Therese KL, Madhavan HN. Spectrum of aetiological agents of postoperative endophthalmitis and antibiotic susceptibility of bacterial isolates. Indian J Ophthalmol 2000;48:123-8.  Back to cited text no. 12
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Jindal A, Pathengay A, Mithal K, Jalali S, Mathai A, Pappuru RR, et al. Microbiologic spectrum and susceptibility of isolates in acute postcataract surgery endophthalmitis: Are they same as they were more than a decade ago? Br J Ophthalmol 2014;98:414-6.  Back to cited text no. 13
Jindal A, Pathengay A, Khera M, Jalali S, Mathai A, Pappuru RR, et al. Combined ceftazidime and amikacin resistance among gram-negative isolates in acute-onset postoperative endophthalmitis: Prevalence, antimicrobial susceptibilities, and visual acuity outcome. J Ophthalmic Inflamm Infect 2013;3:62.  Back to cited text no. 14
Dave VP, Pathengay A, Nishant K, Pappuru RR, Sharma S, Sharma P, et al. Clinical presentations, risk factors and outcomes of ceftazidime-resistant gram-negative endophthalmitis. Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2017;45:254-60.  Back to cited text no. 15
Hashizume T, Ishino F, Nakagawa J, Tamaki S, Matsuhashi M. Studies on the mechanism of action of imipenem (N-formimidoylthienamycin) in vitro: Binding to the penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) in Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and inhibition of enzyme activities due to the PBPs in E. Coli. J Antibiot (Tokyo) 1984;37:394-400.  Back to cited text no. 16
Meredith TA, Aguilar HE, Miller MJ, Gardner SK, Trabelsi A, Wilson LA, et al. Comparative treatment of experimental Staphylococcus epidermidis endophthalmitis. Arch Ophthalmol 1990;108:857-60.  Back to cited text no. 17
Das T, Jalali S, Gothwal VK, Sharma S, Naduvilath TJ. Intravitreal dexamethasone in exogenous bacterial endophthalmitis: Results of a prospective randomised study. Br J Ophthalmol 1999;83:1050-5.  Back to cited text no. 18
Pathengay A, Shah GY, Das T, Sharma S. Intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide in the management of exogenous bacterial endophthalmitis. Am J Ophthalmol 2006;141:938-40.  Back to cited text no. 19
Kenchappa P, Sangwan VS, Ahmed N, Rao KR, Pathengay A, Mathai A, et al. High-resolution genotyping of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains linked to acute post cataract surgery endophthalmitis outbreaks in India. Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob 2005;4:19.  Back to cited text no. 20
Ramappa M, Majji AB, Murthy SI, Balne PK, Nalamada S, Garudadri C, et al. An outbreak of acute post-cataract surgery Pseudomonas sp. endophthalmitis caused by contaminated hydrophilic intraocular lens solution. Ophthalmology 2012;119:564-70.  Back to cited text no. 21
Speaker MG, Menikoff JA. Prophylaxis of endophthalmitis with topical povidone-iodine. Ophthalmology 1991;98:1769-75.  Back to cited text no. 22
Das T, Sharma S, Muralidhar AV, Endopthalmitis Research Group. Effect of vancomycin on Staphylococcus epidermidis adherence to poly(methyl methacrylate) intraocular lenses. J Cataract Refract Surg 2002;28:703-8.  Back to cited text no. 23
Barry P, Seal DV, Gettinby G, Lees F, Peterson M, Revie CW, et al. ESCRS study of prophylaxis of postoperative endophthalmitis after cataract surgery: Preliminary report of principal results from a European multicenter study. J Cataract Refract Surg 2006;32:407-10.  Back to cited text no. 24
Herrinton LJ, Shorstein NH, Paschal JF, Liu L, Contreras R, Winthrop KL, et al. Comparative effectiveness of antibiotic prophylaxis in cataract surgery. Ophthalmology 2016;123:287-94.  Back to cited text no. 25
Jabbarvand M, Hashemian H, Khodaparast M, Jouhari M, Tabatabaei A, Rezaei S, et al. Endophthalmitis occurring after cataract surgery: Outcomes of more than 480 000 cataract surgeries, epidemiologic features, and risk factors. Ophthalmology 2016;123:295-301.  Back to cited text no. 26
Haripriya A, Chang DF, Namburar S, Smita A, Ravindran RD. Efficacy of intracameral moxifloxacin endophthalmitis prophylaxis at Aravind Eye Hospital. Ophthalmology 2016;123:302-8.  Back to cited text no. 27
Sharma S, Sahu SK, Dhillon V, Das S, Rath S. Reevaluating intracameral cefuroxime as a prophylaxis against endophthalmitis after cataract surgery in India. J Cataract Refract Surg 2015;41:393-9.  Back to cited text no. 28
Javitt JC. Intracameral antibiotics reduce the risk of endophthalmitis after cataract surgery: Does the preponderance of the evidence mandate a global change in practice? Ophthalmology 2016;123:226-31.  Back to cited text no. 29
Haripriya A, Chang DF, Ravindran RD. Endophthalmitis reduction with intracameral moxifloxacin prophylaxis: Analysis of 600 000 surgeries. Ophthalmology 2017;124:768-75.  Back to cited text no. 30
Schwartz SG, Flynn HW Jr., Grzybowski A, Relhan N, Ferris FL 3rd. Intracameral antibiotics and cataract surgery: Endophthalmitis rates, costs, and stewardship. Ophthalmology 2016;123:1411-3.  Back to cited text no. 31
Relhan N, Pathengay A, Schwartz SG, Flynn HW Jr. Emerging worldwide antimicrobial resistance, antibiotic stewardship and alternative intravitreal agents for the treatment of endophthalmitis. Retina 2017;37:811-8.  Back to cited text no. 32
Peyman GA, Sathar ML, May DR. Intraocular gentamicin as intraoperative prophylaxis in South India eye camps. Br J Ophthalmol 1977;61:260-2.  Back to cited text no. 33
Han DC, Chee SP. Survey of practice preference pattern in antibiotic prophylaxis against endophthalmitis after cataract surgery in Singapore. Int Ophthalmol 2012;32:127-34.  Back to cited text no. 34


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]


    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
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded294    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal