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Ocular manifestations of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 infection.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection is endemic in Japan, the Caribbean islands, and parts of Central Africa and South America. Known ophthalmic manifestations of HTLV-1 include malignant infiltrates in patients with adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma, retinal degeneration, neuroophthalmic disorders, and keratoconjunctivitis sicca in patients with HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis, and HTLV-1-associated uveitis. This report reviews the recent developments and ocular findings reported in patients with HTLV-1-related diseases.

RECENT FINDINGS: Most of the knowledge of the ocular manifestations of HTLV-1 comes from southwestern Japan, which has the highest incidence of infection worldwide. During the past few years, however, ocular disease associated with HTLV-1 has been described in patients from other endemic areas genetically distinct and geographically distant from Japan. The most interesting of these was the recognition of corneal pathology in Brazilian and Caribbean patients with HTLV-1 that have not been described in Japanese patients. Other developments include the use of molecular techniques in the diagnostic evaluation of ocular tissues from HTLV-1 patients, and clinical studies demonstrating choroidal involvement by indocyanine green angiography in patients with HTLV-1-associated uveitis, and suggesting that retinal vasculitis unresponsive to corticosteroid therapy maybe a poor prognostic sign.

SUMMARY: The spectrum of ocular disease related to HTLV-1 continues to expand. Routine evaluation of HTLV-1-infected patients is important because immune-mediated or neoplastic ocular involvement may occur during the disease course. Genetic and environmental factors may play a role in the ocular manifestations of HTLV-1 in different populations.

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