Endophthalmitis after Cataract Surgery in the United States: A Report from the Intelligent Research in Sight Registry, 2013–2017

Suzann Pershing, Flora Lum, Stephen Hsu, Scott Kelly, Michael F. Chiang, William L. Rich, David W. Parke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine recent incidence and visual outcomes for acute-onset endophthalmitis after cataract surgery performed in the United States. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Participants: United States cataract surgery patients, 2013-2017 (5 401 686 patients). Methods: Cases of acute-onset postoperative endophthalmitis occurring within 30 days after cataract surgery were identified using diagnosis codes in the American Academy of Ophthalmology IRIS (Intelligent Research in Sight) Registry database, drawn from electronic health records in ophthalmology practices across the nation. Annual and aggregate 5-year incidences were determined for all cataract surgeries and specifically for standalone procedures versus those combined with other ophthalmic surgeries. Patient characteristics were compared. Mean and median visual acuity was determined at 1 month preoperative as well as 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months postoperative among patients with and without endophthalmitis. Main Outcome Measures: Incidence of acute-onset postoperative endophthalmitis after cataract surgery. Results: A total of 8 542 838 eyes underwent cataract surgery, 3629 of which developed acute-onset endophthalmitis (0.04%; 95% confidence interval, 0.04%–0.04%). Endophthalmitis incidence was highest among patients aged 0 to 17 years (0.37% over 5 years), followed by patients aged 18 to 44 years (0.18% over 5 years; P < 0.0001). Endophthalmitis occurred 4 times more often after combined cases (cataract with other ophthalmic procedures) than after standalone cataract surgeries (0.20% vs. 0.04% of cases), and occurred in 0.35% of patients receiving anterior vitrectomy. Mean 3-month postoperative visual acuity was 20/100 (median, 20/50) among endophthalmitis patients, versus a mean of approximately 20/40 (median, 20/30) among patients without endophthalmitis. However, 4% of endophthalmitis patients still achieved 20/20 or better visual acuity, and 44% achieved 20/40 or better visual acuity at 3 months. Conclusions: Acute-onset endophthalmitis occurred in 0.04% of 8 542 838 cataract surgeries performed in the United States between 2013 and 2017. Risk factors may include younger age, cataract surgery combined with other ophthalmic surgeries, and anterior vitrectomy. Visual acuity outcomes vary; however, patients can recover excellent vision after surgery. Big data from clinical registries like the IRIS Registry has great potential for evaluating rare conditions such as endophthalmitis, including developing benchmarks, longer-term time trend investigation, and comprehensive analysis of risk factors and prophylaxis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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