Echocardiographic findings and abnormalities in HIV-infected patients: results from a large, prospective, multicenter HIV-heart study

Am J Cardiovasc Dis. 2011;1(2):176-84. Epub 2011 Jul 30.


Aims: The aim of the current study was to assess cardiac structure and function as well as cardiac abnormalities in a large patient-population based multicenter study of HIV-infected subjects.

Materials and methods: We enrolled 803 HIV-positive adults (83.4% men, mean age: 44.2 ± 10.3 yrs) in this prospective, cross-sectional cohort study. The study protocol included a standardized documentation of patient history, medical treatment and clinical examination. All subjects underwent a standardized transthoracic echocardiographic examination protocol including Doppler and tissue Doppler imaging.

Results: Echocardiographic measurements revealed a structural dilatation of the left ventricle in 10.1% of all HIV-infected subjects. Interventricular septum and posterior wall thickness were increased in 18.0% and 11.1%, respectively, with elevated muscle mass in 14.3% male and 19.4% female patients. Of all participants 13.5% exhibited a pathologic contraction characteristic of one or more myocardial segments. Prevalence of systolic and diastolic dysfunction was 34.3% and 48.0%, respectively. However, severe forms of ventricular dysfunction were rare.

Conclusions: In conclusion our results demonstrate the relevance of echocardiography in this patient-population in the era of antiretroviral therapy. Above all, left ventricular wall thickness and function should be controlled regularly in HIV-infected subjects. ( number, NCT01119729).

Keywords: AIDS; Echocardiography; HIV-Infection; cardiomyopathy.

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