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Pain and antisepsis after ocular administration of povidone-iodine versus chlorhexidine


Oakley, C and Allen, P and Hooshmand, J and Vote, BJT, Pain and antisepsis after ocular administration of povidone-iodine versus chlorhexidine, Retina: The Journal of Retinal and Vitreous Diseases, 38, (10) pp. 2064-2066. ISSN 0275-004X (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Ophthalmic Communications Society, Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1097/IAE.0000000000001800



To investigate ocular bacterial count before and after antisepsis with aqueous chlorhexidine (AC) or povidone-iodine (PI) and to assess discomfort with each agent.


Bacterial swabs were taken from participants’ eyes before and after antisepsis. These underwent microscopy, culture, and sensitivity testing. Aqueous chlorhexidine drops were administered to left eyes and PI to right eyes. Participants rated their pain (scale 0–10) for each eye but were blinded to the type of drop.


There were 20 participants (17 women, 3 men), and the mean age was 43 years. Pain scores were significantly higher in right (PI) than in left (AC) eyes (mean 7 vs. mean 2, P > 0.001). No abnormalities were detected on specimen microscopy and gram staining. Seven preantisepsis swabs (three left and four right) grew bacteria in culture. Two postantisepsis swabs grew bacteria in primary culture plate (1 after AC and 1 after PI). For an additional one post-PI swab, bacteria were detected in enrichment broth only.


The efficacy of AC and PI are similar, and patient discomfort is lower with AC. Aqueous chlorhexidine is a good alternative to PI for antisepsis before intravitreal injection.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:povidone iodine, chlorhexidine, antisepsis, intravitreal injections
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Ophthalmology and optometry
Research Field:Ophthalmology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Treatment of human diseases and conditions
UTAS Author:Allen, P (Dr Penny Allen)
ID Code:120277
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Rural Clinical School
Deposited On:2017-08-18
Last Modified:2022-08-25

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