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Am J Ophthalmol. 1989 Mar 15;107(3):229-35.

Prevalence and significance of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related retinal microvasculopathy.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.


We performed ophthalmologic examinations on 127 subjects with or at risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection over a one-year period to determine the prevalence and significance of retinal cotton-wool spots and hemorrhages (AIDS-related retinal microvasculopathy). Of 26 asymptomatic homosexual men, of whom 13 were HIV seronegative and 13 were HIV seropositive, none manifested this retinopathy. Three of 34 patients (9%) with AIDS-related complex and 29 of 67 patients (43%) with AIDS manifested retinopathy on the initial examination. This difference in the prevalence of retinopathy between groups was statistically significant (P less than .05). Patients with AIDS demonstrated 7.2 times greater odds of manifesting retinopathy than patients with AIDS-related complex (P less than .05). Within the group of patients with AIDS, the T helper (CD4) to suppressor (CD8) cell ratio was significantly associated with retinopathy at the initial ocular examination. The CD4:CD8 ratio of the total group of AIDS and AIDS-related complex patients with retinopathy was significantly lower than that of patients without retinopathy (P less than .05). There was no significant association between retinopathy and any specific past or concurrent opportunistic infection or neoplasm. The presence of retinopathy was not associated with symptoms in any patient. The lesions of AIDS-related retinal microvasculopathy may be an important finding in the evaluation of patients suspected to have HIV-related disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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