Cytomegalovirus Anterior Uveitis clinical trials at UCSF
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Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is generally a latent and asymptomatic infection in healthy, immunocompetent individuals. In immunocompromised patients CMV is well known to cause a retinitis that can lead to blindness. In immunocompetent patients, however, CMV can cause recurrent inflammation in the front of the eye (anterior uveitis). CMV anterior uveitis produces complications including pain, glaucoma, corneal failure, and vision loss. CMV anterior uveitis is commonly misdiagnosed as a non-infectious anterior uveitis and treated as such, which can beget further complications. Diagnosis requires directed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. While antiviral therapy exists for CMV, identifying the appropriate therapy has been challenging because no randomized trials comparing routes of therapy (particularly oral or topical) have been performed. Oral antiviral therapy of CMV carries blood and kidney side effects that requires laboratory monitoring. Topical therapy has been reported to be effective, but no consensus as to the appropriate drug concentration exists. Here we propose a double-masked randomized controlled clinical trial comparing the efficacy of oral valganciclovir, topical ganciclovir 2%, and placebo for the treatment of PCR-proven CMV anterior uveitis. This pilot study will provide valuable information concerning the treatment of CMV anterior uveitis with oral and topical medications, including effective concentrations and side-effect profile. The information obtained from this study will help inform future larger clinical trials in CMV anterior uveitis.