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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 840

Commentary: Controversies related to endogenous endophthalmitis

Department of Vitreo-retinal Services, Aravind Eye Hospital and Post Graduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication20-Apr-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Naresh Babu
Department of Vitreo-retinal Services, Aravind Eye Hospital and Post Graduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Madurai - 625 020, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_2226_19

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How to cite this article:
Babu N, Kohli P. Commentary: Controversies related to endogenous endophthalmitis. Indian J Ophthalmol 2020;68:840

How to cite this URL:
Babu N, Kohli P. Commentary: Controversies related to endogenous endophthalmitis. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2023 Jun 5];68:840. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ijo/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?2020/68/5/840/282961

Endogenous endophthalmitis (EE) is an infrequent condition caused by hematogenous dissemination of microorganisms from a remote infectious site to the "immune privileged" ocular environment.[1],[2],[3],[4] Although first reported in 1856, it still remains a diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma. The authors of the manuscript "Clinical presentations, microbiology and management outcomes of cultureproven endogenous endophthalmitis in India" have correctly highlighted the various controversies related to the topic.[5]

Clinical profile of patients shows immense disparity throughout the world. The most common co-morbidities associated with EE include old age; immunocompromised states such as diabetes mellitus, malignancy, and human immunodeficiency virus infection; extraocular foci of infection; long-term hospitalization; indwelling catheter(s); and intravenous drug abuse. Liver abscess has been reported as the most common infection focus in East Asian countries.[1],[2],[3],[4] However, young apparently healthy and ambulatory individuals have also been reported to fall prey to the disease.[6] Many authors have reported factors like preceding episode of febrile illness and administration of IV fluid in rural settings for minor ailments. We also have encountered a number of patients presenting with EE after a minor febrile illness. Hence, a permanent source of a microbial load may not always be necessary to cause EE.

Clinical presentation, especially in apparently healthy individuals, masquerades as noninfectious uveitis. The masquerading nature of the disease causes a high initial misdiagnosis rate, 16%–63% reported in the literature.[1],[2],[3],[4] The rate is especially high in case of anterior focal disease, which may present as iris nodules or microabscesses. Unless the ophthalmologists approach the patients with high index of clinical suspicion, diagnosis of EE can be easily missed.

The body fluid of choice to be cultured remains equally contentious. Greenwald et al. recommended that ocular fluids should be cultured only if all extraocular cultures are negative.[7] Conventionally, blood has been the most reliable source for isolation of microorganisms, providing positive cultures in 33%–94% cases.[1],[2],[3],[4] On the contrary, studies have shown low blood culture positivity rates in apparently healthy patients developing EE.[6] It has been suggested that both vitreous and aqueous humor should be cultured, because occasionally organisms are isolated from one but not the other.

Prognosis in cases of endophthalmitis depends on how effectively the infection, as well as infection-induced inflammation, is controlled. Studies, where the patients treated with only intravitreal and intravenous antibiotics, have reported that mere 5% patients achieved final BCVA ≥ 20/200, 44% completely lost vision, and 25% had to be enucleated or eviscerated.[1] Late vitrectomy has been found to increase the probability of salvaging the globe; however, there is no evidence that it improves visual prognosis also.[1],[2],[3],[4] On the contrary, primary vitrectomy has been shown to improve visual prognosis as well, with 38%–45% eyes attaining BCVA ≥ 20/200.[4],[8]

As correctly highlighted by the authors, EE in the Indian subcontinent presents a unique clinicodemographic profile. Most patients are young and immunocompetent without any underlying systemic focus of infection. Due to the high rate of blood and urine culture negativity, vitreous should always be sent for microbiological culture.

  References Top

Jackson TL, Eykyn SJ, Graham EM, Stanford MR. Endogenous bacterial endophthalmitis: A 17-year prospective series and review of 267 reported cases. Surv Ophthalmol 2003;48:403-23.  Back to cited text no. 1
Smith SR, Kroll AJ, Lou PL, Ryan EA. Endogenous bacterial and fungal endophthalmitis. Int Ophthalmol Clin 2007;47:173-83.  Back to cited text no. 2
Arevalo JF, Jap A, Chee SP, Zeballos DG. Endogenous endophthalmitis in the developing world. Int Ophthalmol Clin 2010;50:173-87.  Back to cited text no. 3
Jackson TL, Paraskevopoulos T, Georgalas I. Systematic review of 342 cases of endogenous bacterial endophthalmitis. Surv Ophthalmol 2014;59:627-35.  Back to cited text no. 4
Dave VP, Pathengay A, Panchal B, Jindal A, Datta A, Sharma S, et al. Clinical presentations, microbiology and management outcomes of culture-proven endogenous endophthalmitis in India. Indian J Ophthalmol 2020;68:834-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
  [Full text]  
Gupta A, Gupta V, Dogra MR, Chakrabarti A, Ray P, Ram J, et al. Fungal endophthalmitis after a single intravenous administration of presumably contaminated dextrose infusion fluid. Retina 2000;20:262-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
Greenwald MJ, Wohl LG, Sell CH. Metastatic bacterial endophthalmitis: A contemporary reappraisal. Surv Ophthalmol 1986;31:81-101.  Back to cited text no. 7
Shen X, Xu G. Vitrectomy for endogenous fungal endophthalmitis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm2009;17:148-52.  Back to cited text no. 8


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