Sunday, November 12

CMV Retinitis-Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Association with AIDS

Cytomegalovirus retinitis or (CMV) is associated with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and a sight-threatening anomaly. The medical survey revealed that more than a quarter AIDS patients developed CMV retinitis but a combination of drugs developed for the treatment of AIDS also showed optimistic outcomes against this particular disease.

CMV retinitis – Signs & symptoms

The light-sensitive receptors that enable us to see are compromised when CMV invades the retina. It’s painless, however; an individual may experience eye floaters, blurry vision, decreased peripheral vision or tiny specks. Imminent vision loss or light flashes are other associated occurrences whereas the disease starts with a single eye and gradually affects both.

If untreated, CMV retinitis may result in a detached retina and permanent blindness within two to six months of the initial onset. HIV patients at times may experience retinal and optic nerve changes without any clear indication of CMV retinitis.


Cytomegalovirus is the primary cause of CMV retinitis which is a common virus of the herpes family. More or less 80 percent adults have CMV antibodies indicating infection with the virus and how the body has successfully fought against it.

The case with AIDS patients is different since their immune system has been compromised completely or too weak to fight the virus. Other specimens with either a weakened or suppressed immune system, especially those having their chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant are at high risk of infection from the virus. In older adults with immune deficiency or a weaker system, the virus can spread from shingles infection either on the nose or forehead thus infecting the retina and cause CMV retinitis.


In case you’re active AIDS patient and experiencing vision anomalies, seek immediate consultation with a retina specialist in Dubai. A newly diagnosed case is likely to have his follow-up visit to the doctor in every two and four weeks. Once the disease has been controlled or least neutralized to a certain extent, the visits may extend to three and six months.

Prescription drugs for CMV retinitis

Cytovene, Foscavir, and Vistide are among the most commonly used anti-viral drugs used for the treatment of CMV retinitis however, these simply slows the progression of the anomaly but don’t cure it completely. Like many other drugs for serious diseases such as this, ongoing treatment may cause unpleasant or serious side effects.

Recently, the three were administered intravenously with Cytovene and Foscavir required an indwelling tube placed in the chest for regular infusion. That being said, Cytovene is now available as a tablet for an oral dose, followed by intravenous infusion every two weeks as recommended by most of the medical experts.

Cytovene can also be administered through Vitrasert; an intravitreal implant which is inserted into the vitreous humor of the eye. During five and eight months following the treatment, Vitrasert slowly releases just the precise amount of Cytovene and the medicine is directed straight to the retina and vitreous of the eye, the source of CMV retinitis.


The course of treatment against CMV retinitis is best decided by retina specialist in Dubai after determination of the severity.

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