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Am J Ophthalmol. 2001 Nov;132(5):720-6.

Ocular blood flow in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Vienna Medical Schoool, Vienna, Austria.



Alterations of ocular blood flow may play a role in the pathophysiology of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) related retinal microvasculopathy. In this study ocular blood flow was investigated in patients with HIV infection.


In a prospective, cross-sectional study ocular blood flow was measured in 37 eyes of consecutive HIV- infected persons and compared with the data of age-matched healthy controls. This sample size was calculated based on an alpha-error of 0.5 and a beta-error of 0.8.


Macular white blood cell flow, fundus pulsation amplitude, and blood flow velocities in the retrobulbar vessels were measured with blue field entoptic technique, laser interferometry, and Doppler sonography, respectively. Immunologic and ophthalmologic status was evaluated from each patient.


Mean CD4+ cell count of the HIV-infected persons was 206.8 +/- 145.6 cells/mm(3). In five patients HIV-related retinopathy was observed. A significant reduction in leukocyte density was seen in HIV infected persons (82.2 +/- 23.4) as compared with the control group (102.0 +/- 28.4; P =.019). The resistive index in the central retinal artery was higher in HIV infected patients (0.77 +/- 0.05) as compared with the controls (0.74 +/- 0.04; P =.04). The other hemodynamic parameters were not different between groups. No correlation of flow parameters and CD4+ cell count or HIV-related retinopathy was observed.


Decreased macular leukocyte density was detected in HIV infected persons. Our study suggests that abnormal retinal hemodynamics in individuals infected with HIV may be involved in the pathogenesis of HIV-related microvasculopathy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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