Cytomegalovirus retinitis in the absence of HIV or immunosuppression

D. J. Sloan, M Taegtmeyer, I A Pearce, I J Hart, A R O Miller, N J Beeching

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis classically occurs in advanced human immunodeficiencyvirus (HIV) infection but is rare in other forms of immunosuppression. The authors report a case of CMV retinitis in an HIV-negative man with idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia (ICL). This is the first such case to be confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of aqueous humor.

METHODS: Case report.

RESULTS: A 69-year-old retired Chinese seaman presented with gradual visual deterioration. He was a diet controlled diabetic on regular steroids for presumed asthma. Examination showed no diabetic eye disease but confirmed acute retinal necrosis (ARN). Anterior chamber tapping of the aqueous humor was PCR positive for CMV. HIV antibody and RNA tests were negative but his full blood count revealed lymphocytopenia, with a low CD4+ subset. He responded to a 3-week course of intravenous ganciclovir therapy followed by suppressiveoral valganciclovir.

CONCLUSIONS: CMV is associated with sight-threatening retinitis in HIV infection at CD4+ counts below 50 cells/microL and in transplant recipients or heavily immunosuppressed patients. Systemic steroids are a risk factor for clinical disease in these groups. It is extremely rare to report CMV eye disease in previously healthy individuals. This case illustrates that the condition does occur in association with ICL. Corticosteroids may be implicated in disease reactivation. Molecular METHODS are necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-5
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2008


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