PURPOSE: To evaluate preoperative characteristics and outcome of the treatment of recurrent cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis with the ganciclovir implant. METHODS: Records of 54 patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and active, previously treated CMV retinitis who received a ganciclovir implant in one (n = 31) or both (n = 23) eyes were reviewed. Entry criteria included prior insertion and removal of an indwelling catheter or failure to respond to tolerated doses of ganciclovir and foscarnet. Preoperative factors that might correlate with outcome were analyzed, including demographic factors, duration of human immunodeficiency virus disease and CMV retinitis, indications for surgery, prior anti-CMV treatment, and extent of retinitis. RESULTS: Forty-six patients completed 1 month of follow-up and were analyzed for outcome. Thirty-one (67.4%) had inactive retinitis at 1 month vs 15 (32.6%) with active retinitis, and they received a mean of 23.5 ± 22.9 weeks of preoperative ganciclovir vs 58.0 ± 52.0 weeks in patients with active retinitis (P = .003). Involvement of more than 25% of retinal area by CMV retinitis was also correlated with activity at 1 month (P < .001). Patients who received implants because of lack of venous access had a median time to progression of 8.0 ± 3.0 months vs 2.0 ± 1.2 months for patients who had inadequate response or intolerance to intravenous medication (P = .073). Patients with 6 months or less vs more than 6 months of preoperative ganciclovir treatment had progression at a median time of 8.0 ± 1.7 months vs 2.0 ± 0.3 months, respectively (P = .016). CONCLUSION: Longer duration of preoperative ganciclovir or larger area of CMV retinitis correlates with lower success of ganciclovir implant therapy for recurrent retinitis.
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