Clinical Characteristics of Endogenous Endophthalmitis Examined in Injection Drug Users

Injection drug users have fewer comorbidities and more improvement in visual acuity after intervention
Injection drug users have fewer comorbidities and more improvement in visual acuity after intervention

(HealthDay News) — Patients with injection drug use (IDU) endogenous endophthalmitis (EE) are younger, with fewer comorbidities, and have more improvement in visual acuity after intervention compared with non-IDU EE patients, according to a research letter published online Nov. 16 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Preston M. Luong, from Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire, and colleagues conducted a retrospective medical record review identifying EE cases from Jan. 1, 2012, through Dec. 5, 2016, to examine the clinical characteristics of IDU versus non-IDU EE. 

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The researchers identified 15 patients with EE (five males and 10 females), of whom nine had a history of IDU. The number of non-IDU EE cases remained at zero to two per year during the study period, while the number of IDU EE cases varied from zero to four per year; the most cases occurred in 2016. The most common presenting symptom was reduced vision, which was seen for all nine patients with IDU EE and five of the six patients with non-IDU EE. Patients with IDU were younger, had fewer comorbidities, and tended to delay seeking medical care. In addition, they had more negative intraocular and blood culture findings for EE, and they experienced significantly more improvement in visual acuity after intervention.

"The patients with IDU represent a younger and healthier subset of the population with EE and may regain vision with prompt recognition and treatment," the authors write.

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