Author(s): Raina J, Bainbridge JW, Shah SM, Raina J, Bainbridge JW, Shah SM
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Abstract PURPOSE: To investigate the causes of decreased visual acuity in patients with cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). METHODS: All human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients seen in two ophthalmology units over a 15 month period from September 1996 were included in this retrospective study. A detailed ophthalmic examination was performed on all patients and in addition those with CMV retinitis underwent serial fundus photography. Decreased visual acuity was defined as a best corrected visual acuity < or = 6/12. CMV and retroviral treatment, CD4+ count and HIV viral load were also documented for each patient. RESULTS: Of 110 patients seen over the 15 month period, 26 (41 eyes) had a diagnosis of CMV retinitis. Twelve patients (16 eyes) with CMV retinitis had decreased visual acuity. The decreased visual acuity in 7 eyes was initially due to the CMV retinitis involving the macula and the optic nerve. Retinal detachment was responsible in 2 eyes and optic nerve atrophy in 1 eye. In 6 eyes (4 patients) the decreased visual acuity was due to a maculopathy--cystoid macular oedema and/or an epiretinal membrane in the presence of an inactive zone 2 or 3 CMV retinitis--with all these patients exhibiting a vitritis of varying grade. The decreased visual acuity in the maculopathy subgroup was irreversible in all except 1 eye, and 2 eyes in this category later developed a cataract. CONCLUSION: In this series, CMV-retinitis-'related' maculopathy was a major (38\%) cause of decreased visual acuity, occurring in the absence of zone 1 retinitis and despite inactive peripheral CMV retinitis. A varying degree of vitritis was an associated feature in all these patients. This study therefore highlights maculopathy as an important and previously unrecognised significant cause of visual morbidity in CMV retinitis.
This article was published in Eye (Lond)
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research