Bacterial dacryoadenitis: clinical features, microbiology, and management of 45 cases, with a recent uptick in incidence

Date Published:

2021 Aug 29


PURPOSE: To review the clinical features, microbiology, management, and incidence of bacterial dacryoadenitis at our institution. METHODS: This was a case series examining patients with bacterial dacryoadenitis from 2004 to 2020. Charts were reviewed for demographics, comorbidities, presenting symptoms and signs, radiology, microbiology, and management. Main outcomes included need for surgical intervention or inpatient admission. RESULTS: Forty-five patients with bacterial dacryoadenitis had a mean age of 46.1 years. Presenting symptoms included eyelid edema (100%), extraocular motility restriction (53.3%), and purulent discharge (75.5%). Based on computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, 9 (20.5%) patients presented with definite abscess and 15 (34%) presented with a phlegmon or early abscess. Eleven patients (24.4%) required surgical drainage. Twenty patients (44.4%) required admission, for an average stay of 4 days (range 2-8 days). Common organisms included Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus aureus. Presence of an early abscess or phlegmon correlated with need for drainage (p < 0.01). Extraocular motility restriction correlated with need for drainage (p = 0.02) and admission (p = 0.05). The incidence of bacterial dacryoadenitis at our institution increased as a percentage of confirmed dacryoadenitis cases; from 2004 to 2010 the incidence was 0 to 9.1% per year, while from 2010 to 2019 the incidence ranged from 7.7 to 36.2%. In 2019, our institution had 17 cases (incidence 36.2%) of bacterial dacryoadenitis. CONCLUSIONS: Bacterial dacryoadenitis is a major cause of dacryoadenitis, and its incidence may be increasing. It can resolve with minimal complications if managed appropriately, although some patients may require surgical drainage or admission for intravenous antibiotics.

Last updated on 09/01/2021