Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of multiple intravitreal cidofovir (HPMPC) injections given every 5 to 6 weeks for the maintenance treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis. Methods: A prospective consecutive case series of 53 eyes in 35 patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome and CMV retinitis was treated with maintenance intravitreal injections of cidofovir (20 μg) at one referral center between April 1994 and September 1995. Twenty-four eyes received intravitreal cidofovir as their initial treatment for CMV retinitis (group A), and 29 eyes previously had received systemic therapy (group B). None of the patients in either group received systemic anti-CMV therapy at any time during the study period. Progression of retinitis was the primary end point. Results: All eyes with active retinitis healed in response to treatment. None of the 24 eyes in group A demonstrated any progression during the study period. Four (14%) of the 29 eyes in group B had one episode each of retinitis progression (mean follow-up, 15 weeks; range, 0-58 weeks). In 1 (1.9%) of the 53 eyes, a retinal detachment developed. A mild iritis was observed after 14% of injections, which were prophylaxed with oral probenecid. Irreversible visually significant hypotony developed in two eyes (3.8%). Conclusion: Treatment and subsequent maintenance therapy of CMV retinitis with 20 μg intravitreally injected cidofovir, given at 5- to 6-week intervals, is highly effective, with only rare episodes of re-activation and progression.
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