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BMC Infect Dis. 2011 Nov 24;11:326. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-11-326.

Prevalence and clinical management of cytomegalovirus retinitis in AIDS patients in Shanghai, China.

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  • 1Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center affiliated to Fudan University, Shanghai 201508, China.



Cytomegalovirus retinitis is a common AIDS-associated illness, leading to blindness in up to 30% of patients. This study was to investigate the prevalence and clinical management of the cytomegalovirus retinitis associated with AIDS in a large municipality of China.


Clinical and laboratory data from 23 cytomegalovirus retinitis patients (35 eyes) out of 303 hospitalized AIDS individuals in a single medical center were analyzed retrospectively. Two of 23 patients were diagnosed cytomegalovirus retinitis just before hospitalization without anti-CMV therapy. Ganciclovir combined with the high active anti-retroviral therapy was installed for treatment of cytomegalovirus retinitis after diagnosis was confirmed. The data were analyzed by specialists and statistics was also applied.


The prevalence of cytomegalovirus retinitis in hospitalized AIDS patients was 7.6% in this study. The level of CD4+ T lymphocytes was correlated well with the occurrence of cytomegalovirus retinitis, showing 16.8% (19/113) (95% confidence interval: 10.4,25.0), 5.4% (3/56) (95% confidence interval: 1.1,14.9), and 1.4% (1/69) (95% confidence interval: 0.0,7.8) occurrence in the patients with CD4+ T lymphocyte counts < 50, 50~99, and 100~199 cells/μl, respectively. The mean CD4+ T lymphocyte counts was 31.7 ± 38.6 cells/μl in 23 AIDS patients with cytomegalovirus retinitis. Median CD4+ T lymphocyte count is 20 cells/μl with inter-quartile range as (5, 36). Seven patients died (11 eyes) and 16 patients (24 eyes) survived. The proportion of blindness and low vision in eyes infected with cytomegalovirus retinitis respectively was 20.8% (5/24) and 29.2% (7/24) when they were diagnosed in survivors. The ganciclovir therapy was effective in 16 patients (24 eyes). Clinical recovery of cytomegalovirus retinitis was 41.7% (10/24) and clinical improvement 58.3% (14/24). After anti-CMV treatment, the proportion of blindness or low vision was 16.7% (4/24).


The AIDS patients with CD4+ T lymphocyte < 50 cells/μl had increased susceptibility to cytomegalovirus associated retinitis. Cytomegalovirus retinitis is a serious disease causing blindness. The cytomegalovirus retinitis in the AIDS patients was response well to ganciclovir therapy. We should check their eyes routinely such as dilated fundus examination with an indirect ophthalmoscope in the AIDS patients with CD4+ T lymphocyte counts < 50 cells/μl.

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