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Ophthalmology. 1993 Jul;100(7):1014-21.

Infectious multifocal choroiditis in patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

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A. Ray Irvine, Jr., MD, Ocular Pathology Laboratory, Doheny Eye Institute, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033.



The purposes of this study are to determine the incidence of infectious opportunistic choroiditis in patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), to study the association of these choroidal infections with systemic dissemination, and to investigate the life expectancy and cause of death in patients with infectious opportunistic choroiditis.


A total of 470 eyes of 235 consecutive autopsies of patients with AIDS were examined by histopathologic methods. The clinical charts and autopsy reports of these patients were subsequently reviewed for presence of systemic dissemination of various infectious agents.


Of the 235 patients, 18 were found to have infectious choroiditis. The etiologic agents found were: Cryptococcus neoformans, Pneumocystis carinii, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Histoplasma capsulatum, Candida, Aspergillus fumigatus, Toxoplasma gondii, and Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare. In 15 of these 18 patients, the cause of death was considered to be due to systemic dissemination of the organism causing the choroiditis. Only 4 of the 18 cases of infectious choroiditis were diagnosed during life, and the survival time of these patients after diagnosis was only 25 days. Five of the 18 patients also were found to have cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection of the retina.


Multifocal choroiditis due to endogenous infectious emboli in patients with AIDS reflects systemic dissemination and localization of infectious agents predominantly in the choriocapillaris. Early diagnosis and treatment are imperative and may be life-saving.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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