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Am J Ophthalmol. 2001 Aug;132(2):244-51.

Endogenous mycotic endophthalmitis: variations in clinical and histopathologic changes in candidiasis compared with aspergillosis.

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The Doheny Eye Institute, Los Angeles, California 90033, USA.



To describe clinical and/or histopathologic features that could help distinguish endogenous Candida endophthalmitis from endogenous Aspergillus intraocular inflammation and to provide histologic documentation of intraocular spread of these agents.


Twenty-five patients who underwent enucleation, 13 with morphologic features and/or positive culture for Aspergillus and 12 with histologic evidence and/or positive culture for Candida were included in the study. Clinical information was sought from each case. Patients with AIDS were excluded. The enucleated globes were analyzed to detect location of the fungi, vascular invasion by these agents, and inflammatory response.


Candida endophthalmitis was noted in patients with a history of gastrointestinal surgery, hyperalimentation, or diabetes mellitus, whereas aspergillosis was present in patients who had undergone organ transplantation or cardiac surgery. Histopathologically, the vitreous was the primary focus of infection for Candida, whereas subretinal/subretinal pigment epithelium infection was noted in eyes with aspergillosis. Retinal and choroidal vessel wall invasion by fungal elements was noted in cases of aspergillosis but not in cases with candidiasis. Both infectious agents induced suppurative nongranulomatous inflammation.


Unlike Candida endophthalmitis, aspergillosis clinically presents with extensive areas of deep retinitis/choroiditis, and vitreous biopsy may not yield positive results. Histopathologically, it appears that Aspergillus grows preferentially along subretinal pigment epithelium and subretinal space. This intraocular infection is usually associated with a high rate of mortality caused by cerebral and cardiac complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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