Delayed-onset endophthalmitis associated with corneal suture infections

Christopher R. Henry, Harry W. Flynn, Darlene Miller, Amy C. Schefler, Richard K. Forster, Eduardo C. Alfonso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of the current study was to report the microbiology, risk factors, and treatment outcomes in patients with delayed-onset endophthalmitis associated with corneal suture infections. For this retrospective consecutive case series, a search of the ocular microbiology department database was performed to identify all patients with positive corneal and intraocular cultures (anterior chamber and/or vitreous) between 01 January 1995 and 01 January 2010. A subset of patients with a history of corneal suture infections and delayed-onset endophthalmitis was identified. Results: Over the 15-year period of the study, 68 patients were identified to have both positive corneal and intraocular cultures. Among them, six patients were identified to have a culture-proven, delayed-onset endophthalmitis that developed from a culture-positive corneal suture infection. All of the patients in the current study were using topical corticosteroids at the time of diagnosis. In four of six patients, there was documented manipulation of a suture before the development of endophthalmitis. Streptoccocus was identified as the causative organism in five of six patients in the current study. All of the Streptoccocus isolates were sensitive to vancomycin. The single case of Serratia marcescens endophthalmitis was sensitive to amikacin, ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, and tobramycin. Treatment modalities varied and were guided by the attending ophthalmologist depending upon clinical presentation. One patient with severe Streptococcus pyogenes keratitis and endophthalmitis underwent a primary enucleation after developing a wound dehiscence. Of the remaining five patients, all received topical and intravitreal antibiotics. Therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty was performed in three patients. Pars plana vitrectomy was performed in two patients. Visual acuity outcomes ranged from 20/150 to no light perception. Conclusions: In the current study, Streptococcus was isolated in nearly all patients with delayed-onset endophthalmitis associated with corneal suture infections. Topical steroid use and suture manipulation were identified as associated factors for developing endophthalmitis. Visual acuity outcomes were poor despite the prompt recognition of endophthalmitis and appropriate antibiotic therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number51
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infection
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Corneal sutures
  • Endophthalmitis
  • Infectious keratitis
  • Streptococcus
  • Suture abscess

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Infectious Diseases


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