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retinitis (ret-i-ny-tis) n. inflammation of the retina, caused mainly by viral infection (e.g. cytomegalovirus, HIV). r. pigmentosa a noninflammatory hereditary condition that is characterized by progressive degeneration of the retina due to malfunctioning of the retinal pigment epithelium. Night blindness and limited peripheral vision starting in childhood may progress to complete loss of vision.