Journal Article

Use of Polymerase Chain Reaction Assays of Aqueous Humor in the Differential Diagnosis of Retinitis in Patients Infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Anna Danise, Paola Cinque, Sandro Vergani, Melchiorre Candino, Sara Racca, Anna De Bona, Roberto Novati, Antonella Castagna and Adriano Lazzarin

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 24, issue 6, pages 1100-1106
Published in print June 1997 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online June 1997 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/513625
Use of Polymerase Chain Reaction Assays of Aqueous Humor in the Differential Diagnosis of Retinitis in Patients Infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus

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We performed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of cytomegalovirus (CMV), varicella- zoster virus (VZV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), and Toxoplasma gondii DNA in aqueous humor from 15 patients who were infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and who had retinitis of unclear origin; these patients were selected from among 820 patients evaluated by ophthalmoscopic examination. On the basis of the final response to treatment, CMV, VZV, and T. gondii retinitis was diagnosed in 5, 2, and 4 of the 15 patients, respectively. No final etiologic diagnosis was reached for four patients. All 5 patients with CMV retinitis were CMV DNA-positive, 1 of 2 patients with VZV retinopathy were VZV DNA-positive, and 3 of 4 patients with T. gondii retinitis were T. gondii DNA-positive. All PCR assays of aqueous humor from the four patients without infectious retinitis were negative. PCR assay of aqueous humor is helpful in the etiologic diagnosis of retinitis of unclear origin in HIV-infected patients.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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