Early surgical debridement in the management of infectious scleritis after pterygium excision

Ethan H. Tittler, Pho Nguyen, Kelly S. Rue, Daniel V. Vasconcelos-Santos, Jonathan C. Song, John A. Irvine, Ronald E. Smith, Narsing A. Rao, Samuel C. Yiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to report outcomes of infectious scleritis after pterygium surgery, managed with antibiotic therapies and early scleral debridement. Methods: Retrospective chart review of 13 consecutive cases of infectious scleritis after pterygium excision between 1999 and 2009 was conducted. Collected data included prior medical and surgical history, latency period between pterygium surgery and presentation of infectious scleritis, culture and histopathologic findings, antibiotic regimen, length of hospital stay, visual acuity before and after treatment, and complications. Results: Median follow-up was at 14 months. Twelve patients underwent prompt surgical debridement after infectious scleritis diagnosis (median, 2.5 days). Debridement was delayed in one patient. Median hospital stay was 3 days. Best-corrected visual acuity improved in ten patients, remained stable in one patient, and decreased in two patients following treatment. Complications included scleral thinning requiring scleral patch graft (1/13), glaucoma (3/13), and progression to phthisis bulbi (1/13). No patients required enucleation. Conclusions: In contrast to the generally poor outcomes in the literature, early surgical debridement of pterygium-associated infectious scleritis appears to offer improved prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infection
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Biofilm
  • Infectious scleritis
  • Pterygium excision
  • Surgical debridement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Infectious Diseases


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