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January 1994

Treatment of Bleb Infection After Glaucoma Surgery

Author Affiliations

From The Glaucoma Service, Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(1):57-61. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090130067019

Objective:  To assess the history, clinical course, and response to treatment of 14 patients with a bleb infection (blebitis) following glaucoma surgery.

Design:  Retrospective study.

Setting:  A university referral center in Atlanta, Ga. Patients: Fourteen patients developed a bleb infection that ranged from 1 month to 22 years after glaucoma surgery. Infections were characterized by pain, a whitened bleb surrounded by intense conjunctival injection, marked anterior chamber reaction (hypopyon in six eyes), and a clear vitreous. Before infection, most blebs were described as thin. The results of Seidel's test were positive in six patients, and most patients had a low intraocular pressure without the use of any glaucoma medication.

Intervention:  Treatment consisted of hospitalization, intravenous antibiotic therapy, and hourly topical fortified cefazolin sodium and gentamicin sulfate.

Results:  The visual acuity in most patients improved to the level before the bleb infection, with only three eyes losing 2 or more lines of vision.

Conclusions:  Bleb infection without vitreous involvement (blebitis) may be a precursor of endophthalmitis. With aggressive treatment, bleb infection appears to have a much better prognosis for visual recovery than endophthalmitis.

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