Primary Vitreoretinal Lymphoma in HIV Infection

Jonel Steffen, Sarah E. Coupland, Justine R. Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: To describe the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, diagnosis and treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related primary vitreoretinal lymphoma (PVRL). Methods: Narrative literature review. Results: HIV-related PVRL occurs in persons who are relatively young and generally have very low CD4+ T-cell counts. Vitritis with subretinal or sub-retinal pigment epithelial infiltrates is typical. Vitreous cytology remains the gold standard for diagnosis, supplemented by flow cytometry and genetic analyses of tumor cells, and measurement of aqueous or vitreous interleukin-10 levels. Concurrent brain involvement also may establish the diagnosis. Treatment includes antiretroviral therapy (ART), systemic chemotherapy (usually methotrexate-based) and local ocular treatment (intravitreal methotrexate, intravitreal rituximab, external beam radiotherapy). Systemic chemotherapy is of uncertain value for PVRL without other central nervous system involvement. Prognosis is poor, but has improved significantly compared to the pre-ART era. Conclusions: Ophthalmologists should consider the diagnosis of PVRL in HIV-positive individuals who present with intermediate or posterior uveitis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)621-627
    Number of pages7
    JournalOcular Immunology and Inflammation
    Issue number3
    Early online date26 May 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
    • diagnostic vitrectomy
    • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
    • intraocular lymphoma
    • masquerade
    • primary central nervous system lymphoma
    • Vitreoretinal lymphoma


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