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AIDS. 2009 May 15;23(8):941-9. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e328329c76b.

Association of HIV viral load with monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and atherosclerosis burden measured by magnetic resonance imaging.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 130 Mason Farm Road, CB 7030, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7030, USA. mfloris@med.unc.edu



HIV-infected individuals may be at increased risk for atherosclerosis. Although this is partially attributable to metabolic factors, HIV-associated inflammation may play a role.


To investigate associations of HIV disease with serum monocyte chemoattractant protein-1/chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (MCP-1/CCL2) levels and atherosclerosis burden.


A cross-sectional analysis.


: Serum MCP-1/CCL2, fasting lipids, and glucose tolerance were measured in 98 HIV-infected and 79 demographically similar uninfected adults. Eighty-four participants had MRI of the carotid arteries and thoracic aorta to measure atherosclerosis burden. Multivariate analyses were performed using linear regression.


Mean MCP-1/CCL2 levels did not differ between HIV-infected and uninfected participants (P = 0.65). Among HIV-infected participants, after adjusting for age, BMI, and cigarette smoking, HIV-1 viral load was positively associated with MCP-1/CCL2 (P = 0.02). Multivariate analyses adjusting for sex, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol:high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio, cigarette smoking, MCP-1/CCL2, and protease inhibitor use found that HIV infection was associated with greater mean thoracic aorta vessel wall area (VWA, P < 0.01) and vessel wall thickness (VWT, P = 0.03), but not with carotid artery parameters. Compared with being uninfected, having detectable HIV-1 viremia was associated with greater mean thoracic aorta VWA (P < 0.01) and VWT (P = 0.03), whereas being HIV-infected with undetectable viral load was associated with greater thoracic aorta VWA (P = 0.02) but not VWT (P = 0.15). There was an independent positive association of MCP-1/CCL2 with thoracic aorta VWA (P = 0.01) and VWT (P = 0.01).


HIV-1 viral burden is associated with higher serum levels of MCP-1/CCL2 and with atherosclerosis burden, as assessed by thoracic aorta VWA and VWT.

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