Korean J Ophthalmol.  2004 Jun;18(1):65-69. 10.3341/kjo.2004.18.1.65.

A Case of Atypical Progressive Outer Retinal Necrosis after Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy

  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Korea.
  • 2Seoul Artificial Eye Center, Seoul National University Hospital Clinical Research Institute, Seoul, Korea.


This is a report of an atypical case of progressive outer retinal necrosis (PORN) and the effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on the clinical course of viral retinitis in an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patient. A 22-year-old male patient infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) presented with unilaterally reduced visual acuity and a dense cataract. After cataract extraction, retinal lesions involving the peripheral and macular areas were found with perivascular sparing and the mud-cracked, characteristic appearance of PORN. He was diagnosed as having PORN based on clinical features and was given combined antiviral treatment. With concurrent HAART, the retinal lesions regressed, with the regression being accelerated by further treatment with intravenous acyclovir and ganciclovir. This case suggests that HAART may change the clinical course of PORN in AIDS patients by improving host immunity. PORN should be included in the differential diagnosis of acute unilateral cataract in AIDS patients.


acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; highly active antiretroviral therapy; human immunodeficiency virus; progressive outer retinal necrosis; viral retinitis
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