January 2018

Incidence and Outcomes of Infectious and Noninfectious Endophthalmitis after Intravitreal Injections for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Vincent Daien, Vuong Nguyen, Rohan W Essex, Nigel Morlet, Daniel Barthelmes, Mark C Gillies, Fight Retinal Blindness! Study Group


Purpose: To assess the incidence, cumulative rate, and long-term outcomes of infectious and noninfectious endophthalmitis after intravitreal injections (IVTs) of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents.

Design: Database study, prospectively designed.

Participants: Treatment-naïve eyes with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) tracked by the Fight Retinal Blindness! (FRB!) registry that commenced anti-VEGF therapy between January 1, 2006, and November 30, 2016.

Methods: Cumulative rate of endophthalmitis and survival curves were measured using Cox-proportional hazards models. Locally weighted scatterplot smoothing curves were used to display visual acuity (VA).

Main outcome measures: Incidence and cumulative rate of endophthalmitis, and change in VA 12 months after endophthalmitis.

Results: Infectious endophthalmitis developed in 18 of 88 150 injections (1/4897 injections [0.020%]; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.012-0.032) with no difference found between types of anti-VEGF medications (P = 0.896). The cumulative rate of infectious endophthalmitis per patient was 0.055%, 0.183%, 0.360%, 0.360%, 0.555%, and 0.843% after 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 IVTs, respectively. However, the “risk” of infectious endophthalmitis did not increase with each successive injection (P = 0.202). Noninfectious endophthalmitis developed in 11 of 88 150 injections (1/8013 injections [0.012%]; 95% CI, 0.006-0.022). The cumulative rate of noninfectious endophthalmitis per patient was 0.087% and 0.228% after 10 and 20 IVTs, respectively, and then remained stable up to 60 IVTs. The incidence of noninfectious endophthalmitis was higher for bevacizumab (8/9931, 0.081%) compared with ranibizumab (3/54 776, 0.005%; P = 0.005) and aflibercept (0/23 425; P = 0.016), and no differences were observed between ranibizumab and aflibercept (P = 1.0). The 12-month VA in infectious and noninfectious endophthalmitis was within ±2 lines of before endophthalmitis in 53% and 75% of eyes, respectively; a loss >2 lines was observed in 31% and 25% of eyes, respectively.

Conclusions: The incidences of infectious and noninfectious endophthalmitis after IVT were low, and the risk did not increase with each successive injection. We found higher rates of noninfectious endophthalmitis with bevacizumab compared with ranibizumab or aflibercept. Three quarters of cases with infectious and two thirds of cases with noninfectious endophthalmitis retained vision within 10 letters of the pre-endophthalmitis level.