In perinatally HIV-infected (PHIV) children, cross-sectional studies reported on subtle structural retinal differences and found associations between the retina and structural brain changes. Our objective is to investigate whether neuroretinal development in PHIV children is similar to the development in healthy matched controls and to explore associations with the brain structure. We measured RT using optical coherence tomography (OCT) on two occasions in 21 PHIV children or adolescents and 23 matched controls–all with good visual acuity–with a mean interval of 4.6 years (SD 0.3). We also included 22 participants (11 PHIV children and 11 controls) together with the follow-up group for a cross-sectional assessment using a different OCT device. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to assess the white matter microstructure. We used linear (mixed) models to assess changes in RT and its determinants (over time), adjusting for age and sex. The development of the retina was similar between the PHIV adolescents and controls. In our cohort, we found that changes in the peripapillary RNFL was significantly associated with changes in WM microstructural makers: fractional anisotropy (coefficient = 0.030, p = 0.022) and radial diffusivity (coefficient = -0.568, p = 0.025). We found comparable RT between groups. A thinner pRNFL was associated with lower WM volume (coefficient = 0.117, p = 0.030). PHIV children or adolescents appear to have a similar development of the retinal structure. In our cohort, the associations between RT and MRI biomarkers underscore the relation between retina and brain.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0282284
Issue number3 March
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023

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