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Retina. 1999;19(1):45-50.

Primary ocular Epstein-Barr virus-associated non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in a patient with AIDS: a clinicopathologic report.

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The Vitreoretinal Service, Eye Institute, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA.



To report an unusual case of chronic multifocal chorioretinitis with vitritis in a patient with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) that was resistant to antiviral and antitoxoplasmic medication and required a retinal biopsy for definitive diagnosis.


Vitreous biopsy, pars plana vitrectomy, and retinal biopsy were performed. The vitreous biopsy material was sent for bacterial, fungal, and viral culture, and the vitreous cassette was sent for cytology. The retinal biopsy material was divided and sent for polymerase chain reaction testing for toxoplasmosis and virology and pathologic tissue analysis.


Vitreous cytology showed a mixed population of lymphocytes and histiocytes, but all other microbiologic and virologic studies were negative. Tissue analysis revealed an infiltrate of atypical mononuclear cells extending from the inner limiting membrane through the outer plexiform layer characteristic of a B cell, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the central nervous system (NHL-CNS). In situ hybridization for the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was positive. An extensive systemic evaluation did not show evidence of extraocular tumor.


Although rare, primary ocular NHL-CNS can be seen in patients with AIDS, and its clinical presentation often closely resembles other disorders. To our knowledge, this case represents the first ocular NHL in which EBV is shown to be associated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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