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Endogenous fungal endophthalmitis: risk factors, clinical features, and treatment outcomes in mold and yeast infections

Jayanth Sridhar*, Harry W Flynn, Ajay E Kuriyan, Darlene Miller and Thomas Albini

Author Affiliations

Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136, USA

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Journal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infection 2013, 3:60  doi:10.1186/1869-5760-3-60

Published: 20 September 2013



The purpose of the current study was to analyze risk factors, clinical features, and treatment outcomes in patients with endogenous fungal endophthalmitis with yeast and mold infections. For this retrospective consecutive case series, microbiologic and clinical records were reviewed to identify all patients with intraocular culture-proven endogenous fungal endophthalmitis treated at a single institution between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 2011.


Sixty-seven eyes of 53 patients were identified; 51 eyes of 39 patients had positive cultures for yeast and 16 eyes of 14 patients had positive cultures for molds. Patients with molds as a causative organism had significantly shorter duration of symptoms prior to diagnosis (molds 3.8 days, yeast 21.0 days, p = 0.002), were more likely to be receiving iatrogenic immunosuppression (molds 57.1%, yeast 7.7%, p = 0.001), have a history of whole-organ transplantation (molds 35.7%, yeast 2.6%, p = 0.001), and were more likely to have hypopyon at the time of diagnosis (molds 37.5%, yeast 6.0%, p = 0.001). Patients with endogenous endophthalmitis caused by molds had significantly worse visual acuity at the time of diagnosis (logMAR visual acuity molds 1.80, yeast 1.15, p = 0.008) and at final visit (logMAR visual acuity molds 1.97, yeast 1.05, p = 0.005) compared to those patients with yeast as a causative organism. There was no significant difference in the rate of retinal detachment between the two groups (mold 12.5%, yeast 30.6%, p = 0.201). Patients with cultures positive for mold were significantly more likely to undergo enucleation (molds 25.0%, yeast 0%, p < 0.001).


Systemic risk factors for patients with endogenous fungal endophthalmitis caused by molds were iatrogenic immunosuppression and a history of whole-organ transplantation. Shorter duration of symptoms before diagnosis and higher rates of hypopyon occurred in mold cases. While endogenous fungal endophthalmitis is generally associated with poor visual acuity outcomes, infection with mold species was associated with worse visual acuity on presentation and on final follow-up than infection with yeast species. Enucleation rates were much higher in mold cases.

Infectious endophthalmitis; Fungal eye infections; Candida; Aspergillus