How is toxoplasma retinochoroiditis in HIV infection treated?

Updated: Jun 12, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Copeland, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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For small peripheral retinochoroiditis (not affecting or threatening the macula), treat anterior chamber inflammation with a topical cycloplegic with or without a topical steroid (eg, prednisolone acetate 1% qid). The topical steroid should be tapered gradually as the anterior chamber inflammation resolves.

For active retinochoroiditis within 2-3 mm of the disc or fovea, which threatens vision, or peripheral lesion associated with severe vitritis, start first-line therapy for 3-6 weeks, as follows: (1) pyrimethamine 75 mg PO load, 25 mg PO twice daily, plus, (2) folinic acid 3-5 mg PO twice weekly (to reduce the adverse effect of bone marrow toxicity of pyrimethamine), and (3) sulfadiazine 2 g PO load, then 1 g PO 4 times daily.

Clindamycin 300 mg PO 4 times daily may be used with sulfadiazine as alternative treatment. Patients on clindamycin should be monitored for the possible adverse effect of pseudomembranous colitis. Other alternative therapeutic regimens include the following: trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (160 mg/800 mg) 1 tablet PO twice daily, with or without clindamycin.

Platelet count and CBC should be monitored once to twice weekly for patients on pyrimethamine. If the platelet count falls below 100,000, then a reduction in the dose along with an increase in the dose of folinic acid, should be initiated. It is important that patients on pyrimethamine avoid taking vitamins containing folic acid.

Retinal laser photocoagulation, cryotherapy, and vitrectomy have been used as adjunct therapy in the treatment of ocular toxoplasmosis.

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