Onset of an outbreak of Bipolaris hawaiiensis fungal endophthalmitis after intravitreal injections of triamcinolone

Kent W. Small, Candy K. Chan, Rosemary Silva-Garcia, Thomas J. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose To report a series of cases with fungal endophthalmitis occurring after intravitreal injection of triamcinolone derived from a single lot prepared by a compounding pharmacy. Design Retrospective, observational case series. Participants Seventeen eyes treated with triamcinolone obtained from a single lot subsequently found to be contaminated with Bipolaris hawaiiensis. Methods A retrospective chart review in a single retina practice was performed for 15 patients (n = 17 eyes) who received intravitreal injections of triamcinolone obtained from a single compounding pharmacy. Medical records and cytologic and microbiologic results were reviewed from December 2011 through January 2013. Main Outcome Measures Visual acuity; presence of vitreous cell, anterior chamber cell, or both; and fungal detection in samples obtained by vitreous needle aspiration or vitreous biopsy. Results Fungal endophthalmitis developed in 82% (14/17) of eyes after intravitreal triamcinolone obtained from the same lot. Median onset was 83 days (range, 6-322 days). Preinjection visual acuity ranged from 20/20 to counting fingers (median, 20/50). Median visual acuity at last follow-up was 20/400 (range, 20/30-no light perception). The most common signs and symptoms included decreased vision (57% [8/14]), vitreous cell (64% [9/14]), and anterior chamber cell (50% [7/14]). Fungus was detected by cytologic or culture examination in 7% (1/14) from initial vitreous tap. By comparison, vitreous samples obtained by pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) resulted in fungus-positive cytologic results in 43% (6/14) of eyes and positive culture results in 36% (5/14) of eyes. All culture-positive specimens (100% [5/5]) were identified as B. hawaiiensis. Overall, fungal infection was confirmed in 57% (8/14) of eyes by either cytologic or microbiologic analysis. Conclusions Fungal endophthalmitis resulting from B. hawaiiensis developed in a series of eyes after intravitreal injections of triamcinolone obtained from a single compounding pharmacy. Clinical presentation of infection can be delayed up to 10 months. Vitreous tap may be inadequate, and direct vitreous biopsy by PPV may be preferred to identify fungal endophthalmitis and facilitate prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)952-958
Number of pages7
JournalOphthalmology
Volume121
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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