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Ophthalmology. 2003 Aug;110(8):1560-6.

Open globe injuries with positive intraocular cultures: factors influencing final visual acuity outcomes.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33101, USA.



To investigate the clinical features influencing final visual acuity outcomes of eyes with positive intraocular cultures after open globe injuries.


Retrospective, consecutive, interventional case series.


Thirty-seven patients.


The medical records were reviewed of all patients with positive intraocular cultures after open globe injuries treated at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute between January 1, 1995, and December 31, 2001.


Final visual acuity. Clinical features investigated included the following: (1). presence or absence of clinical endophthalmitis; (2). virulence of the cultured organism (coagulase-negative Staphylococci, Corynebacterium, and Propionibacterium acnes were classified as nonvirulent organisms, whereas all other organisms were classified as virulent organisms); (3). presence of intraocular foreign body (IOFB); (4). presence of retinal detachment; (5). interval between ocular injury and surgical repair; (6). severity of vision loss at presentation; (7). zone of injury; (8). wound length; and (9). presence of vitreous hemorrhage.


The study included 37 eyes of 37 patients with a mean age of 30 years (range, 18 months-85 years) and a median follow-up of 13 months (range, 1-71 months). Study eyes were stratified into two groups: group 1 eyes (n = 16) were those in which clinical endophthalmitis did not develop, whereas group 2 eyes (n = 21) were those in which clinically diagnosed endophthalmitis developed at some point during their clinical course. Presenting visual acuity was similar in the two groups (mean logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution [logMAR] acuity, 1.91 and 2.22 [Snellen equivalents, 2/162 and 2/331] respectively; P = 0.33). Final acuities in the two groups were different, but not to a statistically significant level (mean logMAR acuity, 1.14 and 2.05 [Snellen equivalents, 20/276 and 2/224], respectively; P = 0.069). In group 1, final visual acuity ranged from 20/20 to no light perception (median acuity, 20/186); 12 eyes (75.0%) achieved a final visual acuity of 20/400 or better. In group 2, final visual acuity ranged from 20/25 to no light perception (median acuity, 7/200); of 20 eyes with known final visual acuity, 10 (50.0%) retained 20/400 or better vision. In group 1, three eyes (19%) eyes had virulent organisms, and 13 eyes (81%) had nonvirulent organisms. In group 2, 12 eyes (57%) had virulent organisms, and nine eyes (43%) had nonvirulent organisms. A final acuity of 20/60 or better was achieved in 14 eyes (41%), and a final acuity of 20/400 or better was achieved in 22 eyes (59%). Better presenting visual acuity (P = 0.038), culture of a nonvirulent organism (P = 0.011), lack of a retinal detachment (P = 0.002), absence of clinical endophthalmitis (P = 0.069), and shorter wound length (P = 0.024) were associated with better visual acuity outcome. In four of six eyes (67%) with both an IOFB and clinical endophthalmitis (group 2), the final visual acuity was no light perception (IOFB was not itself significantly associated with final visual acuity; P = 0.11).


Among eyes with positive intraocular cultures after open globe injury, the visual prognosis is guarded. Clinical features associated with better visual acuity outcomes include better presenting visual acuity, culture of a nonvirulent organism, lack of a retinal detachment, absence of clinical endophthalmitis, and shorter wound length.

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