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Although endophthalmitis following cataract extraction is a rare complication (only 0.17% in the study by Norregaard et al presented in this issue of theBJO(p 102)), endophthalmitis is important because frequently it has a significant effect on visual function.
Outcomes of cataract surgery, including endophthalmitis, have been the subject of intense investigation in recent years, in part because cataract extraction is the most commonly performed surgery in adults in most developed nations. In response to significant regional variation in cataract surgery rates across the USA, the Cataract Patient Outcome Research Team (PORT), funded by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) in the USA, was established to assess variations in short term and long term outcomes and costs for treatment of cataracts.1 Their review of Medicare records from 1984 revealed endophthalmitis rates within 1 year of inpatient cataract surgery of 0.17% for …