Cytomegalovirus retinitis in patients with AIDS in Europe

M. Burke, I. Yust*, C. Katlama, N. Vardinon, N. Clumeck, A. J. Pinching, B. Ledergerber, J. M. Gatell, A. Chiesi, S. E. Barton, J. D. Lundgren, C. Pedersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The incidence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis and risk factors associated with the condition were studied in patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in a multicenter retrospective cohort study of 6458 patients from 52 centers in 17 countries in Europe. Cytomegalovirus retinitis was diagnosed in 154 patients (2.4%) at the time of AIDS diagnosis, the probability of this diagnosis being significantly higher for those with CD4+ cell counts of < 100/mm3 (3.4%) than with counts of 100-200/mm3 (1.3%) or > 200/mm3 (0.8%). The rate of developing CMV retinitis after AIDS diagnosis was 9.4 per 100 patient years of follow-up. Multivariate analysis showed that risk behavior was significantly associated with the risk of developing CMV retinitis, lower for intravenous drug users [relative risk (RR) 0.47] and those engaged in 'other risk behavior' (RR 0.58) than for homosexual men. The risk of developing CMV retinitis after AIDS diagnosis was significantly associated with CD4+ cell count at the time of AIDS diagnosis: for counts < 100/mm3 (RR 2.90) and from 100 to 200/mm3 (RR 2.13), there was a higher risk than for counts > 200/mm3. Patients with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, toxoplasmosis, or extraocular CMV infection at time of AIDS diagnosis exhibited an increased risk of developing CMV retinitis. Patients treated with zidovudine exhibited an increased rate of CMV retinitis: RR was 1.75 during and 2.87 after the second year of treatment as compared to those who had not received zidovudine. Median survival after CMV retinitis at time of AIDS diagnosis was eight months.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)876-882
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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