Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common pathogen of opportunistic viral infections in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. In this study, we assessed the therapeutic outcome of our treatment regimen of CMV retinitis by analysing retrospectively 33 consecutive patients. The clinical utility of CMV cultures from blood, urine and throat specimens obtained at the time of diagnosis was additionally evaluated. Treatment started with ganciclovir (GCV) therapy. In case of relapsing retinitis, re-induction therapy was initiated, and if unsuccessful, the patient was switched to foscarnet. Patients developing resistant retinitis despite foscarnet therapy were offered a GCV-foscarnet combination therapy. Under primary GCV therapy, the median first stable interval of the whole group was 202 days (mean 238 days). Twenty-five out of 33 CMV retinitis patients (76%) responded to initial GCV therapy. Eleven of these patients showed relapsing retinitis that could be stabilised in 3 patients solely with combination therapy. Eight patients did not respond to primary GCV therapy. Three of them improved with foscarnet, but 3 patients did not respond to either treatment. In 18 (56%) out of 32 patients, CMV cultures yielded positive results. Considering our series, we may conclude that in the majority of patients primary or secondary viral resistance can be overcome by dose increase, switching to the alternative drug or a combination therapy.