2.5 years survival with sequential ganciclovir/foscarnet treatment in a patient with acquired immune deficiency syndrome and cytomegalovirus retinitis.
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The case with the longest survival time (30 months) after the diagnosis of cytomegalovirus retinitis in a group of 53 patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome and cytomegalovirus retinitis (median survival time 8.4 months) is described. The patient developed cytomegalovirus retinitis in his left eye and received intravenous virustatic treatment for 29.5 months. Treatment was started with ganciclovir. After withdrawal from maintenance treatment, a relapse of cytomegalovirus retinitis occurred, which was again successfully treated with ganciclovir. A secondary cataract developed, and cataract extraction was performed. After 12.5 months on treatment with ganciclovir, a change to foscarnet was necessary because of neutropenia. Maintenance treatment with foscarnet was well tolerated for 17 months. The cytomegalovirus retinitis showed no signs of reactivation during this period. Vision in the right eye was preserved until death, and no sign of cytomegalovirus retinitis developed in the right eye. This case report demonstrates that an unusual long survival time is possible in a patient sequentially treated with ganciclovir and foscarnet.