Purpose: To evaluate early changes in the central retinal response in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients without infectious retinitis using multifocal electroretinography (mfERG).
Design: Case control study.
Methods: We evaluated three cohorts: HIV-negative controls and two groups of HIV-positive patients separated according to their nadir CD4 counts (>or= 100 cells/mm(3) and < 100 cells/mm(3) for a minimum of six months). mfERG first-order kernels (FOKs) and second-order kernels (SOKs) were analyzed separately by areas of rings, quadrants, and individual hexagons for each cohort.
Results: Of 103 hexagon locations of FOK results, there were no significant differences in amplitudes of P1 and N1 across the groups (.05 < P < .50), although there was a trend for an overall reduction in the amplitudes. Similarly, latency N1 did not differ (.28 < P < .95). There were significantly delayed latencies of P1 between cohorts across 103 hexagons in both kernels. SOK results also showed significant delay in latencies of P1 and a trend of reduced P1 amplitudes across studied locations among cohorts (.24 < P < .08).
Conclusions: The results demonstrate widespread delay in latency in HIV-positive patients, especially in those with prolonged low (below 100 cells/mm(3)) CD4 nadir counts. These findings suggest early diffuse dysfunction of the inner retina results from severe HIV disease even in the HAART era.