Related Sites:     ISRS   |   AAOE   |   EyeSmart   |   EyeCare America   |   Academy Foundation   |   EyeWiki
Find an Eye M.D.     About     Newsroom     Help

HIV Disease: Cotton Wool Spots

Cotton wool spots

These microinfarcts of the retina, which occur in many diseases, are common findings even in the early stages of HIV disease.

They reflect antigen-antibody plugs rather than infection, although cytomegalovirus retinitis, a finding in advanced HIV disease, starts with cotton wool spots. They do not interfere with vision.

What to do?
Cotton wool spots are a marker for HIV disease. If the patient has very low CD4 counts, beware that the cotton wool spots are a precursor of cytomegalovirus retinitis. The patient must be reexamined within days to verify lack of progression.

 Previous Next