Clinical features and outcomes of cytomegalovirus retinitis after transplantation

A. J. Eid, S. J. Bakri, S. Kijpittayarit, R. R. Razonable

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection of the retina is a rarely encountered end-organ disease after transplantation. In order to describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes of CMV retinitis after hematopoietic stem cell and solid organ transplantation, we performed a retrospective review of all cases of CMV retinitis at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota) during 1990-2004. During this 15-year period, CMV retinitis was diagnosed in 14 eyes of 9 patients who had received kidney (n=5), liver (n=2), heart (n=1), and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (n=1). The mean age of the patients was 58 (standard deviation±11) years; 6 were male. The median time to diagnosis of CMV retinitis was 9 months (range, 4 months to 13 years) after transplantation. Four (44%) patients had concomitant pneumonitis or hepatitis. Five (55%) patients had bilateral retinitis. Retinal involvement was ≤10% in 8 eyes, >10% but ≤50% in 4 eyes, and >50% in 2 eyes. All patients received induction therapy with intravenous ganciclovir (n=8) or foscarnet (n=1) for a median of 43 days (range, 14-100 days) followed by maintenance therapy with intravenous or oral ganciclovir for a median of 88 days (range, 36-943 days) in 6 (67%) patients. One patient developed bilateral immune recovery uveitis during treatment, and later on progressed to develop rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. During the mean follow-up period of 20 months, visual acuity improved in 4 (28.5%), was stable in 4 (28.5%), and worsened in 6 (43%) eyes. CMV retinitis recurred in 2 patients. In conclusion, CMV retinitis is a rare, progressive, and highly morbid infectious complication of transplantation. The severity of clinical disease at the time of diagnosis may predict poor outcome. Hence, early intervention may be crucial to prevent its progression to irreversible visual loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
JournalTransplant Infectious Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008


  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Ganciclovir
  • Immunosuppression
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Outcomes
  • Retinitis
  • Solid organ transplant
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Transplantation


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