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D W Faber, C A Wiley, G B Lynn, J G Gross, W R Freeman; Role of HIV and CMV in the pathogenesis of retinitis and retinal vasculopathy in AIDS patients.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1992;33(8):2345-2353.
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Cotton-wool spots and cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis are seen frequently in AIDS patients. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection of the retina has been proposed as a mechanism for the high incidence of retinal pathology. An autopsy study of the eyes from 25 consecutive cases of AIDS was performed using gross examination, light microscopy, trypsin digestion of retinal vasculatures, and immunohistochemistry to evaluate the possible role of HIV, as well as CMV, in the pathogenesis of retinitis and retinal vasculopathy. Brain tissue was studied in the first 20 of these cases to evaluate any correlation between retinal and central nervous system pathology. CMV retinitis was observed in 15 cases (60%). Cotton-wool spots were seen in nine cases (36%). CMV encephalitis was detected in four cases, whereas HIV encephalitis was noted in five cases. We were unable to demonstrate a correlation between CMV retinitis and CMV encephalitis. However, the number of cases studied was small, and the frequency of CMV encephalitis was low. On the other hand, bilateral CMV retinitis demonstrated a correlation to HIV encephalitis (P less than 0.005, Fisher's exact test). HIV infection of the retina was not detected by typical morphologic changes or immunohistochemistry. Immunohistochemistry localized CMV infection solely to areas of active retinitis. These findings suggest that bilateral CMV may serve as a marker of HIV encephalitis, possibly indicating a severely immunodepressed state.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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