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Retinal manifestations in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma virus type 1 (HTLV-1)

To describe retinal manifestation throughout the course of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) linked to infection by the human T-cell lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1). Retrospective case series of patients showing complicated ATL intraocular manifestation. Complete eye exam was performed, with among other test fluorescein angiography, indocyanine green angiography, and optical coherence tomography. Sample of the vitreous was collected for observation. Three patients showed intraocular complications linked to ATL, among the 175 ATL cases diagnosed in Martinique between 1983 and 2013. They were bilateral under retinal infiltrates associated with intermediate uveitis. In 2 cases, the ATL diagnosis was known. The retinal infiltrates visible through angiography allowed to make the ATL diagnosis for the third case. ATL type cells presence was confirmed in the vitreous for one patient. Despite chemotherapy, infiltrates progress in a centripetal pattern to reach the posterior pole. They were associated with vasculitis, thus reducing visual acuity to simple luminous perception. Retinal manifestation throughout ATL is very rare. From the onset of the disease, the presence of characteristic under retinal infiltrates allow right away the diagnosis of ATL for an HTLV-1 virus seropositive.

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Correspondence to Harold Merle.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Merle, H., Meniane, JC., Deligny, C. et al. Retinal manifestations in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma virus type 1 (HTLV-1). Retrovirology 12 (Suppl 1), P74 (2015).

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