Objectives: To study the characteristics of clinical presentations and treatment outcome of patients with HIV infection who developed cytomegalovirus(CMV) retinitis.
Methods: A retrospective study for the period 1986-97 at the regional Unit of Infectious Diseases, Newcastle General Hospital; a teaching hospital in the north-east of England. Twenty-seven patients with advanced HIV disease and clinically confirmed CMV retinitis were studied. The mean age was 40.8 years, standard deviation +/-6.3 years. The male : female ratio was 25 : 2. Twenty-six of the patients were white Caucasians and one was of Afro-Caribbean origin.
Result: The median time between the first AIDS-defining diagnosis and development of CMV retinitis was 1.5 years and the CD4+ cell count at the time of diagnosis of CMV retinitis was 7/mm3. After 14 months of treatment. 80% of patients on mono antiretroviral therapy had impairment of sight (visual acuity 3/60) versus 30% for those on triple antiretroviral therapy. In the same period, the survival rate was 18 versus 70% for mono versus triple antiretroviral therapy, respectively.
Conclusion: The outcome for patients with CMV retinitis was significantly better for those who were on triple than for those on mono antiretroviral therapy.