PURPOSE: To determine the prevalence of cytomegalovirus retinitis after cardiac transplantation. METHODS: Records of patients who had cardiac transplantation at Jackson Memorial Hospital between November 1986 and November 1994 were reviewed. Patients who had not previously had ophthalmic evaluation after transplantation were invited for retinal examination. RESULTS: Eighty-two patients had cardiac transplantation during the study period. One to 68 months (mean, 24.5 months) after transplantation, ophthalmoscopic examination was performed in 41 patients. Six (14.6%) of 41 patients had healed scars consistent with cytomegalovirus retinitis or active cytomegalovirus retinitis. CONCLUSIONS: Cytomegalovirus retinitis lesions were found in six (14.6%) of 41 patients. If remaining patients were unaffected and no patient developed cytomegalovirus retinitis after ophthalmoscopic examination, the prevalence would be 7.3% (6/82). We recommend ophthalmic screening of all patients 3 to 4 months after cardiac transplantation with repeat examinations yearly or as ocular symptoms occur.
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