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July 1996

Use of the Ganciclovir Implant in the Treatment of Recurrent Cytomegalovirus Retinitis

Author Affiliations

From the Doheny Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(7):815-820. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100140029003

Objective:  To evaluate the efficacy of the ganciclovir implant in the treatment of recurrent cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis.

Methods:  Patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and recurrent CMV retinitis were evaluated for entry into the study. A ganciclovir implant was inserted in 91 eyes of 70 patients between October 1992 and October 1995. The efficacy of the implant and visual results were retrospectively reviewed.

Results:  Fifty-three (76%) of 70 eyes had inactive CMV retinitis 1 month postoperatively (positive initial response). Twenty-one eyes of 19 patients had less than 1 month of follow-up. Nineteen (36%) of 53 eyes developed recurrent CMV retinitis. The median time to recurrence for those patients with a positive initial response was 7 months. Forty-eight (84%) of57 patients with follow-up longer than 1 month after implant insertion in the first eye received systemic anti-CMV medication during the study. The cumulative risk for developing a retinal detachment was 23% at 6 months following implant insertion. Other complications included vitreous hemorrhage, hyphema, and suprachoroidal implantation of the device.

Conclusion:  The ganciclovir implant is effective as an adjunct to continued systemic therapy in those patients with recurrent CMV retinitis.