Long-Term Effects of In Utero Antiretroviral Exposure: Systolic and Diastolic Function in HIV-Exposed Uninfected Youth

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2016 Jul;32(7):621-7. doi: 10.1089/AID.2015.0281. Epub 2016 May 9.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of in utero exposure to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) with left ventricular (LV) function and structure in HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) children. A prospective, multisite cohort study in HEU children was conducted by the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS). Echocardiographic measures of LV systolic and diastolic function and cardiac structure were obtained from HEU subjects aged ≥6 years enrolled in the PHACS Surveillance Monitoring of ART Toxicities study. Echocardiographic Z-scores were calculated using normative data from an established reference cohort. We used adjusted linear regression models to compare Z-scores for echocardiographic measures from HEU children exposed in utero to HAART with those exposed to non-HAART, adjusting for demographic and maternal health characteristics. One hundred seventy-four HEU subjects with echocardiograms and maternal ARV information were included (mean age 10.9 years; 48% male, 56% black non-Hispanic). Among 156 HEU youth with any ARV exposure, we observed no differences in Z-scores for LV systolic function measures between youth exposed in utero to HAART (39%) and HAART-unexposed youth in either unadjusted or adjusted models. In adjusted models, those exposed to HAART had significantly lower mitral late diastolic inflow velocities (adjusted mean Z-score = 0.00 vs. 0.52, p = .04) and significantly higher adjusted mean LV mass-to-volume ratio Z-scores (adjusted mean Z-score = 0.47 vs. 0.11, p = .03) than HAART-unexposed youth. Uninfected children with perinatal exposure to HAART had no difference in LV systolic function. However, small but significant differences in LV diastolic function and cardiac structure were observed, suggesting that continued monitoring for cardiac outcomes is warranted in this population.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • Heart Ventricles / anatomy & histology
  • Heart Ventricles / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time
  • Ventricular Function, Left / drug effects*


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents