Objective: To determine the pattern of echocardiographic diagnoses in HIV-infected patients presenting with cardiac symptoms at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Methods: Patients known to be HIV positive and with cardiac complaints were prospectively recruited from the Hospital's care and treatment centre as well as from the medical wards. Clinical assessment, laboratory tests and echocardiography were performed.
Results: A total of 102 patients were recruited from September 2009 to April 2010. The patients' mean age was 42.4 years and 68.6% were women. The most common diagnosis was pericardial effusion present in 41.2% of the patients. The effusion was large in 5.9% and small in 35.3% of the patients. Hypertensive heart disease was diagnosed in 34.3%, while pulmonary hypertension and dilated cardiomyopathy were present in 12.7 and 9.8%, respectively.
Conclusion: Cardiac abnormalities are common in HIV-infected patients, particularly when they present with symptoms.