Physician-Patient Face Masking's Influence on Post-Intravitreal Injection Endophthalmitis Rates

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science


Purpose : To evaluate the role of both physician/patient face masking as it relates to endophthalmitis rates following intravitreal injections (IVI).

Methods : The electronic health record of a multi-site, retina only practice was retrospectively evaluated to identify IVIs (CPT code 67028) that occurred one year prior and one year after local mask mandating was enforced due to the Coronavirus 19 (COVID 19) pandemic. We identified episodes of endophthalmitis (ICD 10 H44.001, H44.002) that occurred within two weeks of an IVI and calculated the rate of endophthalmitis in each group. Episodes of endophthalmitis were evaluated for time to diagnosis, culture results and treatment approach for each group.

Results : Our analysis revealed 21,987 subjects between the two time periods who underwent 121,384 IVIs over the 2-year period interest. Of these, 63,114 IVIs were in the unmasked group, where 29 (0.046%) episodes of endophthalmitis were identified. In the masked group, 58,270 IVIs were performed, and 17 (0.038%) cases of endophthalmitis were found. There were no statistically significant differences regarding the rate of endophthalmitis between the two groups (p value = 0.1336). Other results suggest that in the masked group, time to presentation was modestly delayed (~1 day) and in general more virulent bacterial species were identified.

Conclusions : Our results concur with previously studies which indicate that the role of physician/patient face masking does not significantly influence the rate of post-IVI endophthalmitis. Further, we report a trend toward delayed presentation and more virulent bacterial species in the masked group.





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Annual Meeting Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, ARVO 2023, April 23-27, 2023, New Orleans, LA