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Am J Cardiol. 2008 Sep 1;102(5):635-42. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2008.04.035. Epub 2008 Jun 17.

Cardiovascular manifestations in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan, USA.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is now a pandemic. It afflicts multiple organs, including the cardiovascular system. This occurs by direct invasion as well as opportunistic infections complicating acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The presence of newer highly active antiretroviral therapy has led to longer survival of patients infected with HIV, but the cardiac abnormalities related to HIV have remained less well characterized. It is now evident that cardiac involvement in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is relatively common. This includes coronary artery disease, dilated cardiomyopathy, pericardial effusion, pulmonary hypertension, and ill effects of highly active antiretroviral therapy in the form of lipodystrophy, lipoatrophy, and dyslipidemia. In fact, HIV can now be viewed as a potential risk factor for coronary artery disease, and the dilemma facing clinicians is how to quantify this risk. Awareness of accelerated coronary artery disease and dilated cardiomyopathy is critical to implement preventive measures early in the course of HIV. However, better guidelines are still needed on the basis of prospective randomized controlled studies involving large populations. In conclusion, this review describes cardiac abnormalities associated with HIV, including possible molecular mechanisms. The co-morbid sequelae, their presentation, and pharmacologic management are also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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