Diagnostic Utility of Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction versus Culture in Endophthalmitis and Uveitis

Harpal Singh Sandhu, Amir Hajrasouliha, Henry J. Kaplan, Wei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: To compare genetic testing for microbes in infectious endophthalmitis or uveitis to culture.Methods: This was a retrospective, single-center case series that enrolled patients with clinically suspected endophthalmitis or uveitis of unknown etiology. Aqueous humor or vitreous was collected and sent for routine cultures and genetic testing.Results: In total, 46 patients were enrolled. Genetic testing was positive in 32/46 (70%) cases and culture 6/46 cases (13%). Five of 16 uveitis cases had a final clinical diagnosis of infectious uveitis, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was positive in 4/5 cases (80%), versus 0% for culture. In uveitis cases, PCR was 80% sensitive and 82% specific, and culture had 0% sensitivity. The overall sensitivity and specificity of PCR for all cases were 85% and 67%, respectively, compared with 17% and 100% for culture.Conclusion: Genetic assays are inexpensive ($25/case) and more sensitive than culture for identifying intraocular pathogens in endophthalmitis and uveitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-582
Number of pages5
JournalOcular Immunology and Inflammation
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 19 2019



  • diagnostic tests
  • endophthalmitis
  • polymerase chain reaction
  • uveitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Ophthalmology

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