Author(s): Musch DC, Martin DF, Gordon JF, Davis MD, Kuppermann BD. Treatment of cytomegalovirus retinitis with a sustained-release ganciclovir implant. The Ganciclovir Implant Study Group. N Engl J Med. 1997 Jul 10;337(2):83-90.
Journal: The New England Journal Of Medicine, Volume 337, Issue 2, Jul 1997
BACKGROUND Sustained-release, intraocular implants that deliver ganciclovir are an alternative method for the treatment of cytomegalovirus retinitis in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
METHODS We conducted a randomized study of 188 patients with AIDS and newly diagnosed cytomegalovirus retinitis. The patients were randomly assigned to treatment with an implant delivering 1 microg of ganciclovir per hour, an implant delivering 2 microg of ganciclovir per hour, or intravenous ganciclovir. The primary outcome we studied was progression of cytomegalovirus retinitis.
RESULTS The median time to progression of retinitis was 221 days with the 1-microg-per-hour implant (75 eyes), 191 days with the 2-microg-per-hour implant (71 eyes), and 71 days with ganciclovir administered intravenously (76 eyes; P<0.001). The risk of progression of retinitis was almost three times as great among patients treated with intravenous ganciclovir as among those treated with a ganciclovir implant (risk ratio, 2.8; P<0.001). However, the risk of disease in the initially uninvolved eye was lower with intravenous ganciclovir than with a ganciclovir implant (risk ratio, 0.5; P=0.19). Patients treated with intravenous ganciclovir were also less likely to have extraocular cytomegalovirus infections (0, vs. 10.3 percent in the two implant groups; P=0.04).
CONCLUSIONS For the treatment of cytomegalovirus retinitis, the sustained-release ganciclovir implant is more effective than intravenous ganciclovir, but patients treated with a ganciclovir implant alone remain at greater risk for the development of cytomegalovirus disease outside of the treated eye.