What is the role of tuberculosis in the ocular manifestations of HIV infection?

Updated: Jun 12, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Copeland, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Answer

The increase in the HIV-infected population has, in part, contributed to the resurgence of reactivation of latent tubercle bacilli in previously infected individuals. Tuberculosis represents a significant cause of granulomatous uveitis in patients who are HIV positive.

Reactivation of quiescent tubercle bacilli as a result of immunocompromise has been demonstrated to account for close to 90% of new cases of ocular tuberculosis. The caseating tubercle contains the inactive organism until reactivation. Inflammation of tuberculosis usually manifests as areas of necrosis surrounded by mononuclear and giant cells.


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