An effective method to reduce the risk of endophthalmitis after intravitreal injection (IVI): Application of 0.25% povidone-iodine
Keywords:Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor, Endophthalmitis, Hypopion, Intravitreal injection, Povidone-iodine
Background/Aim: The most important complication after intravitreal injection (IVI) is endophthalmitis, which can result in severe vision loss. This study aims to investigate the effect of 0.25% povidone-iodine (PI) application before IVI on the incidence of endophthalmitis in patients who received intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injection. Methods: A total of 15345 intravitreal anti-VEGF injections and nine endophthalmitis cases after IVI performed at the outpatient injection room of a single university hospital between January 2017 and January 2020 were included in this retrospective cohort study. Before July 2018, after applying 10% PI around the eyes and 5% PI on the eyes, an eyelid speculum was inserted, and the injection was performed. After this date, in addition to these steps, after placing a speculum and determining the injection site with a caliper, 3-4 drops of 0.25% PI were applied just before injection. Topical antibiotics were not used before or after the injection. Results: Nine cases of endophthalmitis were detected in 3 years. The most common symptoms were vision loss (9/9) and pain in the eye (7/9). All cases had conjunctival hyperemia, cells-hypopyon in the anterior chamber, and cells in the vitreous. The time between injection and re-visiting the clinic due to endophthalmitis symptoms ranged between 2-6 days, and visual acuity varied between hand motion and 0.2. While the number of endophthalmitis cases before July 2018 was 8 (8/8330) in 1.5 years, after the addition of 0.25% PI application to the protocol, only 1 case of endophthalmitis (1/7015) was seen in the last 1.5 years. The rate of endophthalmitis had decreased significantly (P=0.037). Conclusion: Since July 2018, the addition of 0.25% PI to the standard IVI protocol just before injection has significantly reduced endophthalmitis rates. With this method, endophthalmitis rates may be decreased despite the increasing number of IVIs.
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