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J Hosp Infect. 2011 Jun;78(2):138-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2011.02.004. Epub 2011 Mar 29.

Postoperative nosocomial endophthalmitis: is perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis advisable? A single centre's experience.

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  • 1University Eye Hospital of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.


We report the endophthalmitis rate after cataract surgery in patients preoperatively given topical povidone-iodine and gentamicin-containing irrigation fluid as prophylaxis without intracameral cefuroxime or perioperative topical antibiotics. In a retrospective clinical study, we included patients undergoing cataract surgery over a 12-year period at one large university teaching hospital. Data from 26,566 cataract procedures were analysed. Cases of postoperative endophthalmitis were identified and diagnosed both clinically and microbiologically. A total of 26,566 cataract procedures were reviewed, and we identified 16 patients with postoperative endophthalmitis (rate: 0.6 per 1000 operations, or 0.06%; 95% confidence interval: 0.03-0.09%). A causative micro-organism was detected in 81.3% (13/16) of the cases. Most organisms were Gram-positive bacteria (10/13) with susceptibility to cefuroxime (9/10) and/or fluoroquinolones (4/8), and/or resistance to aminoglycosides (10/10). The three Gram-negative pathogens were susceptible to cefuroxime, aminoglycosides, and fluoroquinolones. Using our regimen of topical povidone-iodine and gentamicin irrigation, we observed a low postoperative endophthalmitis rate not differing from the infection rates recently reported in other large studies. We speculate that neither intracameral cefuroxime nor perioperative levofloxacin eye drops are necessary to minimise postoperative infectious complications following cataract surgery, and we suggest that the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery guidelines (in which perioperative antibiotics are mandatory) therefore be revisited to permit alternative effective regimens for the prevention of postoperative infections following cataract surgery.

Copyright © 2011 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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