June 13, 2014
1 min read

Subconjunctival lidocaine lessens rate of endophthalmitis after intravitreal injection

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Antibacterial properties in lidocaine given subconjunctivally as anesthesia may reduce the rate of endophthalmitis after intravitreal injections, according to a study.

The retrospective chart review included 15,042 intravitreal injections; a 2% lidocaine/0.1% methylparaben preparation was administered before 6,853 of those injections, and no cases of endophthalmitis ensued. The remaining 8,189 injections were given in conjunction with other types of anesthesia, and eight cases of endophthalmitis ensued.

The researchers looked specifically at the bactericidal effects of lidocaine in vitro against Staphylococcus epidermidis, S. aureus and Streptococcus viridans. After 10 minutes of exposure to the lidocaine, S. epidermidis demonstrated an approximate 95% reduction in colony-forming units (P < .001), S. viridans demonstrated a 92% reduction (P < .001), and S. aureus demonstrated a 90% reduction (P < .01).

“[Antibacterial] properties of lidocaine may augment the antibacterial effects of povidone-iodine and offer an alternative to topical antibiotics in the setting of emerging microbial resistance and rising health care cost,” the researchers wrote.

Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.