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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2010 Mar;39 Suppl 1:S25-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2009.12.028. Epub 2010 Feb 26.

Management of HIV vasculopathy - a South African experience.

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  • 1Vascular Unit, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, Durban, South Africa.


The aim of the study was to describe the presentation management and short term results of therapy (< 1 month) in patients admitted with HIV vasculopathy. Records were culled from a prospectively maintained data base on the Vascular Unit at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital, Durban, South Africa between January 2005 and June 2009. 226 patients were studied; 111 had aneurysms and 115 occlusive disease. 98% were African and ages ranged from 4-53 years (average 36); 90% were male. The CD4 count ranged from 1-930 cells/mm(3) while serum albumin averaged 30 mMol/L. 202 aneurysm presented in 111 participants; commonest sites were superficial femoral artery (40%) and carotid (25%). 82 patients had standard operative repair and 8 had stent grafts; 29 were not treated due to advanced disease. Within 30 days of operation the mortality was 9% with 5% developing graft sepsis and 11% pulmonary complications. Of 115 with occlusive disease, there were 2 distinct groups. 51 had no previous claudication and had acute thrombosis; no thrombophilia could be demonstrated. 64 had premature atherosclerotic disease. The majority presented with critical ischaemia. In the acute thrombosis group 15 (29%) had primary amputation, limb salvage was achieved in 13 (36%) and 4 died (11%). In the chronic occlusive group 30 (47%) had primary amputation, of 25 submitted to surgery limb salvage was achieved in 17 (68%). Low CD4 count and albumin levels did not correlate with mortality or complications.


Surgical therapy for aneurysm is worthwhile in the short term. Following occlusive disease there is a 25% overall salvage rate in the short term (< 1/12) but the long term outlook is uncertain.

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