Although cytomegalovirus (CMV) remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), the incidence of CMV retinitis is considered to be lower than the incidence of CMV infection in other organs following allogeneic HSCT. In this study, the incidence and characteristics of CMV retinitis were retrospectively evaluated in recipients of allogeneic HSCT. Ophthalmological screening was performed at the development of ocular symptoms or positive CMV infection using peripheral blood evaluated by pp65 antigenemia or polymerase chain reaction. Of the 514 patients, 13 patients developed CMV retinitis. The median onset of CMV retinitis was day 34 (range, 21–118) post transplant, and the cumulative incidence was 2.5% (95% CI, 1.6–4.2) at 6 months after transplantation. Five patients presented ocular symptoms at the onset. In the remaining eight asymptomatic patients, the diagnosis of CMV retinitis was made by the screening guided by positive CMV infection. All evaluable patients responded to antiviral treatment but three showed incomplete improvement with ocular sequela. Our results suggest that the incidence of CMV retinitis after allogeneic HSCT is not negligible and active ophthalmological screening based not only on symptoms but also positive CMV infection monitoring contributes to the early diagnosis of CMV retinitis.
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