Visual and anatomic outcomes associated with posterior segment complications after ganciclovir implant procedures in patients with AIDS and cytomegalovirus retinitis

Am J Ophthalmol. 1999 Mar;127(3):288-93. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(98)00443-7.


Purpose: To determine anatomic and visual acuity outcomes of posterior segment complications after ganciclovir implant surgery.

Methods: We reviewed the medical records of 63 patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome who had active cytomegalovirus retinitis in 82 eyes and who underwent 110 consecutive ganciclovir implant procedures. Preoperative and postoperative visual acuity, type of postoperative complication, treatment, and lines of visual acuity change were determined.

Results: Thirty-eight eyes of 19 patients had bilateral ganciclovir implant procedures, and 25 eyes of 19 patients underwent two or more ganciclovir implant procedures. Thirteen (12%) of 110 ganciclovir implant procedures developed posterior segment complications: rhegmatogenous retinal detachment in six, vitreous hemorrhage in four, endophthalmitis in two, and cystoid macular edema with epiretinal membrane in one. Treatment included pars plana vitrectomy with silicone oil in two cases and without silicone oil in three cases, scleral buckling in one, intravitreal antibiotic injection in two, and laser photocoagulation in two. Overall, median visual acuity was 20/25 preoperatively. Median follow-up was 6 months for all eyes and 7 months for eyes with complications. Postoperative median visual acuity was 20/25 for eyes without complications vs 20/40 at 1 month, 20/60 at 3 and 6 months, and 20/100 at 12 months in eyes with complications (P < .001). More eyes with than without complications lost 2 or more lines of visual acuity (P < .001).

Conclusion: Postoperative complications occurred in 12% of the ganciclovir implant procedures and were associated with decreased visual acuity despite treatment.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy*
  • Adult
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cytomegalovirus Retinitis / drug therapy*
  • Drug Implants
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Ganciclovir / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Postoperative Complications* / physiopathology
  • Postoperative Complications* / surgery
  • Retinal Diseases / etiology*
  • Retinal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Retinal Diseases / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity*
  • Vitrectomy


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Drug Implants
  • Ganciclovir