[Incidence and evaluation of viral retinitis in patients infected with the HIV virus and treated with HIV protease inhibitors]

J Fr Ophtalmol. 1998 Oct;21(8):567-76.
[Article in French]


Background: Since the beginning of the use of HIV-Protease Inhibitors (PI) to treat HIV-infected patients, a decrease of the incidence of extraocular opportunistic infections has been observed. We studied the incidence of CMV-retinitis in patients treated with a highly active antitetroviral therapy (HAART) containing PI over a mean follow-up of 12 months.

Methods: Ninety-three HIV-infected patients treated with HAART containing PI were included. The mean initial CD4+ cell-count was 54/microliter (median: 22/microliter), and the mean plasma HIV-load was 5.46 log 10 RNA-copies/ml. Fundus examination was performed each month in case of a previously treated and controlled CMV-retinitis or if initial CD4 cells were below 50/microliter. In other patients, fundus examination was performed every 3 months. The mean follow-up was 362 days.

Results: Among the 7 patients with a previously treated and controlled CMV-retinitis, one experienced a progression during the study (after 163 days of PI). Among the 59 patients with CD4 cells below 50/microliter and without previous CMV-retinitis before the beginning of PI, 5 experienced a CMV-retinitis (mean delay after the onset of HAART: 141 days), including 2 with relapse. When retinitis occurred, CD4 cells were below 32/microliter except in one case (147/microliter).

Conclusions: Compared to previously published reports, this study showed an increase of the time to progression of previously treated and controlled CMV-retinitis in patients treated with PI. Considering deeply immunocompromised patients (less than 50 CD4-cells/microliter), the risk of suffering from CMV-retinitis was 8.5% after 12 months of PI treatment. Longer follow-up remains necessary to confirm these results.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / diagnosis
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy*
  • Adult
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Cytomegalovirus Retinitis / diagnosis
  • Cytomegalovirus Retinitis / drug therapy*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fundus Oculi
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Viral Load


  • HIV Protease Inhibitors