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To compare enzyme immunosorbent assay (EIA) and the particle agglutination (PA) test for the detection of antibodies to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in cadaveric vitreous humor and serum.Seventeen cadavers presenting pathologic signs of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) at autopsy and 33 without AIDS signs were evaluated. Consistency (K) and significance (p) between the diagnostic tests were established.The right and left eyes of each of 48 bilaterally tested cadavers presented identical diagnostic results in all laboratory tests. All tests were positive for antibodies in the AIDS cadavers except for two EIA-negative vitreous results. Three autopsy-negative cadavers showed by both EIA and PA testing positive results in serum and negative in vitreous. Two of them showed a serum-positive Western blot.Serum EIA anti-HIV antibody detection test is the current gold standard for evaluating corneal donor material. Neither the PA test nor EIA should be used for vitreous testing because of their low sensitivity.