Cytomegalovirus retinitis in the highly active anti-retroviral therapy era

Ifeoma N. Ude, Steven Yeh, Jessica G. Shantha

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis is an opportunistic infection that has traditionally affected those who have HIV/AIDS or immunosuppressed individuals. CMV retinitis previously infected one-third of AIDS patients in the pre-highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era, but since HAART, Western countries have seen an 80% decrease in the incidence of the disease. More recently, CMV retinitis has been reported in patients who are immunosuppressed, often due to chemotherapy or immunomodulatory medications. The diagnosis of CMV retinitis is often suspected based on clinical findings, with polymerase chain reaction for confirmation of CMV, especially in atypical cases. Highly active antiretroviral therapy and anti-CMV medications (systemic or local) remain the mainstay of treatment. However, for those who are not responsive to HAART, CMV retinitis remains a challenge, and can still lead to significant vision loss. Moreover, a regimen of anti-CMV medications can sometimes lead to viral resistance or organ toxicity. Complications such as immune recovery retinitis and rhegmatogenous retinal detachments continue to threaten the vision of patients who develop CMV retinitis. These complications can arise following initiation of treatment or if patients show disease progression. Proper vision screening for CMV retinitis in immunosuppressed patients at-risk is necessary for early detection and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalAnnals of Eye Science
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)
  • retinitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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