Objective: To determine the effect of endophthalmitis on diabetic retinopathy. Design: Noncomparative case series. Methods: The records of all consecutive patients with endophthalmitis treated between 1992 and 1997 at the Medical College of Wisconsin were retrospectively reviewed. Those patients with diabetes mellitus were analyzed. Participants: From 77 reviewed records, 11 patients (12 eyes; 14%) were identified as diabetics with endophthalmitis and were studied. Main Outcome Measures: Stage of diabetic retinopathy, time to retinopathy progression, and visual acuity. Results: Mean patient age was 68 years, and mean duration of diabetes was 11.7 years. Mean patient follow-up was 17 months. Of the six cases without evidence of retinopathy before the endophthalmitis, none went on to develop retinopathy. Of six eyes with pre-existing nonproliferative retinopathy, four showed evidence of progression within 6 months of the infection. Three developed severe proliferative disease and macular edema, and one developed severe nonproliferative disease. More patients without pre-existing retinopathy achieved a final visual acuity of 20/40 or greater. Conclusions: Patients with pre-existing diabetic retinopathy may be at increased risk for rapid retinopathy progression and a poorer visual outcome after endophthalmitis. These results support the concept that inflammation may exacerbate diabetic retinopathy.
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