Cardiac disease in adolescents with delayed diagnosis of vertically acquired HIV infection

Academic Article


  • Background. At least one-third of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected infants survive to adolescence even without antiretroviral therapy (ART), but are at high risk of complications including cardiac disease. We investigated the characteristics of cardiac disease among adolescents with HIV infection diagnosed in late childhood who were receiving ambulatory HIV care in Harare, Zimbabwe.Methods. Consecutive adolescents with vertically acquired HIV attending 2 HIV outpatient treatment clinics were studied. Assessment included clinical history and examination, and 2-dimensional, M-mode, pulsed-and continuous-wave Doppler echocardiography.Results. Of 110 participants (47% male; median age, 15 years; interquartile range, 12-17 years), 78 (71%) were taking ART. Exertional dyspnea, chest pain, palpitations, and ankle swelling were reported by 47 (43%), 43 (39%), 10 (9%), and 7 (6%), respectively. The New York Heart Association score was ≥2 in 41 participants (37%). Echocardiography showed that 74 participants (67%) had left ventricular (LV; septal and/or free wall) hypertrophy and 27 (24%) had evidence of impaired LV relaxation or restrictive LV physiology. The estimated pulmonary artery systolic pressure (ePASP) was >30 mm Hg in 4 participants (3.6%); of these 2 also had right ventricular (RV) dilatation. Another 32 participants (29%), without elevated ePASP, had isolated RV dilatation. Conclusions. A significant burden of cardiac disease was seen among adolescents with vertically acquired HIV infection. More than half were asymptomatic yet had significant echocardiographic abnormalities. These findings highlight the need to screen this population in order to better define the geography, natural history, etiopathogenic mechanisms, and management (including the timing and choice of optimal therapeutic ART and cardiac drug interventions) to prevent development and/or progression of HIV-associated cardiac disease. © 2012 The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
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    Author List

  • Miller RF; Kaski JP; Hakim J; Matenga J; Nathoo K; Munyati S; Desai SR; Corbett EL; Ferrand RA
  • Start Page

  • 576
  • End Page

  • 582
  • Volume

  • 56
  • Issue

  • 4