Retinal detachment risk in cytomegalovirus retinitis related to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

John H. Kempen, Douglas A. Jabs, James P. Dunn, Sheila K. West, James Tonascia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To compare the incidence of retinal detachment in patients treated with the ganciclovir implant compared with those treated using systemic therapy only, among 511 patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis and to describe the influence of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on retinal detachment incidence. Patients and Methods: All patients with AIDS and CMV retinitis at 1 center were followed up prospectively from CMV retinitis diagnosis for incidence of retinal detachment. Patient- and eye-specific data regarding demographic and clinical characteristics were collected at the time of CMV retinitis diagnosis. Use of anti-CMV and antiretroviral treatments and the development of an immunologic response to HAART during follow-up were recorded. Results: No significant difference in the rate of retinal detachment was found between eyes treated with systemic therapy only and those treated with ganciclovir implants, whether used as primary therapy or subsequent to using systemic anti-CMV therapy. The use of HAART was associated with a 60% reduction in retinal detachment rate (P<.001), with the greatest benefit observed among patients who developed an immunologic response to HAART. Conclusions: Our results suggest that there is no substantial excess risk of retinal detachment when patients with AIDS and CMV retinitis are treated with ganciclovir implants as opposed to systemic anti-CMV therapy only. However, the use of HAART in these patients appears to reduce the risk of retinal detachment substantially.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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