Ocular manifestations of acquired immune deficiency syndrome

Ophthalmology. 1989 Jul;96(7):1092-9. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(89)32794-1.


The ocular complications of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) include: (1) a noninfectious microangiopathy, most often seen in the retina, consisting of cotton-wool spots with or without intraretinal hemorrhages and other microvascular abnormalities; (2) opportunistic ocular infections, primarily cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis; (3) conjunctival, eyelid, or orbital involvement by those neoplasms seen in patients with AIDS (i.e., Kaposi's sarcoma and lymphoma); and (4) neuro-ophthalmic lesions. In a series of 200 AIDS patients evaluated clinically, AIDS retinopathy was present in 66.5%. Sixty-four percent had cotton-wool spots, and 12% had intraretinal hemorrhages. Cytomegalovirus retinitis was diagnosed in 28% of AIDS patients. Neuro-ophthalmic lesions were found in 8% of all AIDS patients and were present in 33% of those patients with cryptococcal meningitis. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome retinopathy was present in 40% of 35 patients with the AIDS-related complex (ARC) and in 1.3% of 232 patients with asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, evaluated photographically. These results suggest that the prevalence of AIDS retinopathy increases with increasing severity of HIV infection, and that CMV retinitis presents a significant vision-threatening problem in AIDS patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / complications
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / complications
  • Eye Diseases / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infections / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / complications
  • Retinal Diseases / complications
  • Retinal Diseases / pathology
  • Retinitis / complications