Electro-ophthalmologic studies in HIV patients
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We examined 44 HIV-positive patients in different disease stages with electroretinogram (ERG), pattern-electroretinogram (PERG), and visually evoked cortical potentials (VECP). Sixty-eight of the 88 eyes examined had a normal fundus and full central vision. Twelve eyes showed cotton-wool ecudates and 8 eyes CMV retinitis. Fifty-four eyes with normal fundus were examined by ERG. Of these 28 (52%) showed marked reduction of the amplitude. In the PERG, 20 eyes out of 50 examined (40%) showed an amplitude reduction. In the VECP, 12 out of 65 eyes (19%) had a reduced amplitude. In the ERG, 7 of 11 eyes (64%) with cotton-wool exudates showed marked pathological findings, as opposed to 4 of 10 cases (40%) in the PERG and 3 of 12 (12%) in the VECP. Seventy-five percent of the eyes with CMV retinitis (6 of 8 cases) showed pathological findings in the ERG and VECP and 100% (all 7 cases examined) in the PERG. These electrophysiological findings suggest that there are diffuse disorders in the retina of HIV-positive patients. It is possible that these findings are based on direct infection of the retina with HIV, or that they represent a vascular disorder, subclinical infection or are related to side effects of the drugs used for the HIV infection.