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HIV Med. 2005 Nov;6(6):380-7.

Carotid intima-media thickness is slightly increased over time in HIV-1-infected patients.

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  • 1Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, University Hospital of Bordeaux, France. patrick.mercie@chu-bordeaux.fr

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

HIV-infected patients are at risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. In a 12-month follow-up study, we aimed to investigate changes in carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), a surrogate marker of atherosclerosis, and its determinants in HIV-1-infected patients.

METHODS:

Our multicentre prospective longitudinal cohort study included 346 HIV-infected patients, for each of whom two IMT measurements were taken by B-mode ultrasonography at baseline (M0) and 1 year later (M12).

RESULTS:

We observed a significant but moderate increase in the common carotid artery (CCA) median IMT, from 0.54 to 0.56 mm (P<10(-4)), i.e. an increase of 0.020 mm (95% confidence interval 0.012-0.029). There was a significant association between cross-sectional CCA IMT measures at M12 and conventional cardiovascular risk factors (higher CCA IMT with older age, P<10(-4); male gender, P=0.02; tobacco consumption, P=0.05), as well as higher CD4 cell count at M12 (>median 455 cells/microL, P=0.01). Only CD4 cell count at M0 was strongly and positively associated with the variation in IMT between M0 and M12 (P=4 x 10(-3)). IMT progression was +0.0020 mm for the lowest quartile of CD4 cell count distribution at M0, i.e. 3-253 cells/microL, +0.010 mm for 253-402 cells/microL, +0.043 mm for 402-590 cells/microL, and +0.028 mm for 590-2270 cells/microL. No association was found with type or duration of antiretroviral exposure.

CONCLUSIONS:

Conventional cardiovascular risk factors are major determinants of IMT evolution. The link between immunological status and carotid IMT requires further study.

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