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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 Nov 1;58(13):5985-5992. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-22252.

Inflammatory and Neuronal Biomarkers Associated With Retinal Thinning in Pediatric HIV.

Author information

Department of Hematology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Emma Children's Hospital/Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Ophthalmology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Experimental Immunology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Neurology, Departments of Medicine, Biomedicine and Clinical Research, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
Neurochemistry Laboratory and Biobank, Department of Clinical Chemistry, VU University Medical Center and Neurocampus Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Physics, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Ophthalmology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



The pathophysiology of neuroretinal thinning in children with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is poorly understood. The current study aimed to assess whether neuroretinal thinning in clinically stable perinatally HIV-infected children was associated with biomarkers of immune activation, inflammation, and neuronal damage.


Inflammation-associated and neuronal damage markers were measured in blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of HIV-infected children aged 8 to 18 years. Using mixed-effects regression analyses, we assessed associations between these biomarkers and neuroretinal layer thickness, as measured with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography.


Thirty-two HIV-infected children (median age 13.6 years, 50% male) were included. Blood plasma levels of interleukin-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 were inversely correlated with foveal inner plexiform layer thickness (coef = -4.40, P < 0.001; coef = -9.67, P = 0.047; coef = -10.48, P = 0.042, respectively). Plasma interleukin-6 was inversely correlated with foveal ganglion cell layer thickness (coef = -2.49, P = 0.010). Total Tau levels in CSF were inversely correlated with outer nuclear layer and inner segments thickness (foveal: coef = -19.3, P = 0.029; pericentral: coef = -18.09, P = 0.006) and pericentral total retinal thickness (coef = -28.2, P = 0.017).


Neuroretinal thinning was associated with inflammation-associated and neuronal injury biomarkers in a cohort of antiretroviral therapy-treated perinatally HIV-infected children. These findings suggest that ongoing immune activation, inflammation, and neuronal injury occur in parallel with retinal thinning in pediatric HIV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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