Confocal scanning laser microscopy in patients with postoperative endophthalmitis
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To investigate alterations of corneal layers in eyes treated for acute postoperative endophthalmitis.
In this retrospective, nonrandomized comparative study, eyes treated with 25 gauge pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) for acute post-cataract endophthalmitis (group A) were compared to eyes receiving uneventful cataract surgery (group B) and uneventful 25 gauge PPV for epiretinal membrane (group C). After a minimum follow-up of 8 months from last surgical procedure, laser scanning in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) was performed.
Twelve eyes for each group were recruited. Comparing study eyes with control eyes of group B and C, no statistical difference was found in corneal epithelial cell density (p = n.s.), in density of nerve fibers (p = n.s.), mean grade of nerve reflectivity (p = n.s.), mean grade of nerve tortuosity (p = n.s.), mean grade of anterior keratocyte activation (p = n.s.), and corneal endothelium cell density (p = n.s.), whereas a statistically higher mean grade of posterior keratocyte activation was found in group A (p < 0.01). Epithelial and endothelial corneal morphologies were graded as regular in all groups. Langerhans cells and corneal dendritic-shaped hyper-reflective endothelial deposits were found in group A. Both findings were absent in group B and C, and the difference was statistically significant (p < 0.01).
IVCM was a useful tool in the detection of microscopic chronic corneal abnormalities caused by postoperative endophthalmitis. These findings confirmed the presence of a subclinical chronic corneal inflammation localized to the posterior stroma that should be related to the infectious process. Future studies might clarify pathological processes in the acute phase of postoperative endophthalmitis.
KeywordsConfocal scanning laser microscopy Confocal microscopy Endophthalmitis Postoperative endophthalmitis Cornea
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or nonfinancial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee (Perugia IEC) and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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