PURPOSE: To determine the incidence and risk factors for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment in a population of patients with newly diagnosed cytomegalovirus retinitis. METHODS: Analysis of selected baseline and time- dependent data on patients enrolled in a multicenter, prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial of therapy with foscarnet vs ganciclovir. RESULTS: In 316 eyes with cytomegalovirus retinitis at baseline, the risk of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment in an eye involved by cytomegalovirus retinitis was 18.9% at 6 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 14.0% to 23.8%) and 37.9% at 1 year (95% CI, 30.5% to 45.3%). Retinal detachment was not associated with the type of anticytomegalovirus therapy (intravenous foscarnet or ganciclovir) to which the patient was assigned. Extent of retinal involvement by cytomegalovirus retinitis, higher patient age, and lower CD4+ T-cell counts were associated with an increased risk of retinal detachment; myopia was not. CONCLUSIONS: Retinal detachment in patients with cytomegalovirus retinitis is unrelated to the type of intravenous therapy used or to refractive error. The median time to retinal detachment in an involved eye with cytomegalovirus retinitis and free of retinal detachment at baseline was 18.2 months. Strategies to reduce the extent of retinitis and possibly the number of reactivations may reduce the incidence of retinal detachment.
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