Clostridium perfringens Endophthalmitis After Penetrating Keratoplasty With Contaminated Corneal Allografts: A Case Series

Joshua H. Hou, Anjali Tannan, Jonathan B. Rubenstein, Osvaldo I. Lopez, Kristen McCoy, Randy J. Epstein, Richard J. Grostern, Joel Sugar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report the postoperative clinical course of 3 patients who underwent corneal transplantation with corneal allografts contaminated with Clostridium perfringens and to evaluate the risk factors for anaerobic contamination in 2 donors.

Methods: Patient records and adverse reaction reports from a single eye bank related to cases of posttransplant C. perfringens endophthalmitis were reviewed. Records regarding the mated corneas, donor autopsy reports, and other pertinent data were also reviewed.

Results: Three adverse reactions associated with transplantation of corneal allografts contaminated with C. perfringens were reported. Two cases were from mated corneas. Both patients developed fulminant endophthalmitis after undergoing uncomplicated penetrating keratoplasty and required subsequent enucleation. Another isolated case (with no adverse reaction in the mate cornea) developed hypopyon postoperatively that resolved with intravitreal and topical antibiotics. Possible risk factors for anaerobic tissue contamination in the donors included illicit drug use in the first donor and exposure to sewage at the time of death in the second donor.

Conclusions: Clostridial endophthalmitis is an aggressive rapidly progressive infection with potentially poor visual outcomes that can be transmitted from infected corneal allografts. Further investigation is needed to clarify the role of anaerobic donor rim cultures and the donor risk factors associated with recovering corneal allograft tissue contaminated with C. perfringens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 12 2015


  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Endophthalmitis
  • Penetrating keratoplasty

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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