PURPOSE: To determine the intraocular pressure in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) with and without cytomegalovirus retinitis, and to correlate intraocular pressure with CD4+ T-lymphocyte count and the presence, extent, and activity of cytomegalovirus retinitis. METHODS: Intraocular pressure was measured with calibrated Goldmann applanation tonometers in two groups of patients. Group A included 84 patients with HIV (120 eyes) with cytomegalovirus retinitis, and Group B included 110 patients with HIV (183 eyes) without cytomegalovirus retinitis. Thirty-three patients without HIV (66 eyes) were included as a control group. Step-wise regression analysis of intraocular pressure included correlation with cytomegalovirus retinitis (presence, extent, and activity), CD4+ T-lymphocyte count, age, and gender. RESULTS: The mean intraocular pressure was 9.8 mm Hg in Group A, 12.6 mm Hg in Group B, and 16.1 mm Hg in the control group. All three groups were statistically different from each other when intraocular pressure was compared (P < .0001). Step-wise regression showed that low CD4+ T-lymphocyte count (r2 = .20; P < .0001) and extent of cytomegalovirus retinitis (r2 = .08; P = .007) both correlated to low intraocular pressure. CONCLUSION: Intraocular pressure is lower than normal in patients with HIV. Decreased CD4+ T-lymphocyte count is the major association with low intraocular pressure (20% of the effect); extent of cytomegalovirus retinitis accounts for 8% of the effect. Knowledge of the normal range of intraocular pressure in patients with HIV will be important to the understanding and treatment of glaucoma and other disorders or treatments affecting intraocular pressure.
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