Survival differences associated with treatment of cytomegalovirus retinitis in Maryland patients with AIDS, 1987-1994

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Differences in survival related to treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis in AIDS patients were studied.

The medical records of adult AIDS patients who had been diagnosed with CMV retinitis in a Maryland inpatient facility between September 1987 and September 1994 were reviewed to assess determinants of survival, including treatment with ganciclovir and foscarnet, use of zidovudine, and demographic characteristics.The review was based on inpatient and outpatient medical records and computerized data from the Maryland HIV Information System.

Of 212 AIDS patients with CMV retinitis, 123 (58.0%) were treated exclusively with ganciclovir, 55 (25.9%) received foscarnet only, and the remaining 34 (16.1%) received both ganciclovir and foscarnet at some point after their diagnosis for CMV retinitis. Patients who received both drugs survived significantly longer after the diagnosis than patients who received either drug by itself. The median time from diagnosis of CMV retinitis to death was 464 days for patients receiving both drugs, 225 days for ganciclovir recipients, and 202 days for foscarnet recipients. Other positive predictors of survival were male sex and use of zidovudine.

Among Maryland adults with AIDS who were treated for CMV retinitis between September 1987 and September 1994, the most common treatment for the eye infection was ganciclovir.Patients receiving both ganciclovir and foscarnet survived longer than those treated with either drug alone.

Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 1999; 56:1314-8

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