The Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology

Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology:

Issue 1, January/February 2017 Original Study - Clinical

Presumed Sterile Endophthalmitis After Intravitreal Triamcinolone (Kenalog)-More Common and Less Benign Than We Thought?

Fong, Angie H. C.; Chan, Carmen K. M.

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From the *Hong Kong Eye Hospital and †Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong.


Reprints: Carmen K. M. Chan, FRCSED(Ophth), FHKAM, Hong Kong Eye Hospital, 147 K Argyle St, Kowloon, Hong Kong.



Purpose: This study aimed to review the incidence and clinical outcome of presumed sterile endophthalmitis after the off-label use of intravitreal Kenalog injections (triamcinolone acetonide with 1.5% benzyl alcohol) and to compare it with the presumed sterile endophthalmitis incidence after intravitreal Kenacort-A (0.99% benzyl alcohol) at our center. 

Design: This was a single-center, retrospective, consecutive, intervention-al case series of all patients who underwent intravitreal Kenalog injections at Hong Kong Eye Hospital from November 1, 2009, to July 31, 2012.

Methods: This was a retrospective medical records review.


Results: A total of 81 intravitreal Kenalog injections were performed. Ten eyes (12.3%) developed presumed sterile endophthalmitis, presenting clinically with dense anterior chamber cells, fibrin, hypopyon, and vitritis. All cases were treated with topical steroids and antibiotics. Although the inflammation resolved eventually in all cases, 2 eyes developed complications, resulting in eventual loss of best corrected visual acuity: one developed rhegmatogenous retinal detachment with choroidal detachment, and another developed vitreous hemorrhage.


Conclusions: The rate of presumed sterile endophthalmitis after Kenalog injection is much higher than our previous experience with Kenacort-A. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study reporting the incidence of presumed sterile endophthalmitis using intravitreal Kenalog and Kenacort in the same center using the same injection technique. We believe that it may be due to a difference in the concentration of the preservative. Although sterile endophthalmitis is generally thought to run a benign course, this study has shown that serious complications may occur.

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