The objective of the present study was to evaluate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) levels in the aqueous humor and vitreous fluid in patients with and those without ocular involvement due to AIDS-related cryptococcosis. We also assessed whether cryptococcosis infection in the central nervous system (CNS) was associated with elevated HIV levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). From 1993 to 2003, we obtained 16 CSF samples from 9 AIDS patients with cryptococcal meningitis and 7 AIDS patients without CNS opportunistic infection. Samples of intraocular fluids were obtained from all 9 patients with cryptococcal meningitis. Five cases presented with ocular involvement in patients with meningitis. By using the method of reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, we detected higher HIV loads in aqueous humor (27,244 ± 4,123 copies/ml) and vitreous fluid (84,930 ± 5,071 copies/ml) in patients with concomitant CNS and ocular involvement due to AIDS-related cryptococcosis (p < 0.05). HIV levels in the vitreous fluid were correlated with levels in CSF (r = 0.77). Mean HIV level in the CSF (209,761 ± 18,787 copies/ml) was significantly elevated in AIDS patients with cryptococcoal meningitis (p < 0.05). To our knowledge, this is the first report to study the level of HIV loads in the CSF and intraocular fluid simultaneously in AIDS patients with cryptococcosis. Our results revealed the intrathecal and intraocular HIV replication in patients with cryptococcosis.
- Cerebrospinal fluid
- Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems