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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2010 Dec;55(4):495-9. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181edab0b.

Increased coronary artery calcium score and noncalcified plaque among HIV-infected men: relationship to metabolic syndrome and cardiac risk parameters.

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Program in Nutritional Metabolism, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.



In this study, the effects of traditional cardiac risk factors on coronary artery calcium (CAC) score and presence of plaque, including noncalcified plaque, measured by computed tomography coronary angiography, were compared among HIV-infected and non-HIV-infected subjects, with respect to the presence of the metabolic syndrome (MS).


HIV-infected men recruited for the presence of the MS (HIV + MS, n = 27) were compared with 2 control groups, HIV-infected men recruited without regard to metabolic criteria (HIV, n = 87), and HIV-negative control men (C, n = 40), also recruited without regard to any metabolic criterion.


All 3 groups were similar in age, demographic parameters, and smoking. MS was seen in 100% of the HIV + MS group, compared with 28% in the HIV-infected control group and 11% in the HIV-negative controls. HIV + MS subjects had higher mean CAC score than HIV-infected controls (72 ± 25 vs. 30 ± 8, P = 0.04, HIV + MS vs. HIV) and HIV-negative controls (72 ± 25 vs. 18 ± 7; P = 0.02, HIV + MS vs. C). With respect to CAC, only the HIV + MS group had increased CAC compared with non-HIV. In contrast, both HIV groups demonstrated an increased prevalence of plaque [63% vs. 38%, P = 0.04 (HIV + MS vs. C) and 59% vs. 38%, P = 0.02, (HIV vs. C)] and increased number of noncalcified plaque segments compared with the HIV-negative group [1.26 ± 0.31 vs. 0.45 ± 0.16, P = 0.01 (HIV + MS vs. C); 1.02 ± 0.18 vs. 0.45 ± 0.16, P = 0.04 (HIV vs. C)]. Plaque and noncalcified plaque did not differ significantly between the HIV groups.


Metabolic abnormalities in HIV patients are specifically associated with increased coronary artery calcification, whereas HIV itself or other factors may be associated with the development of noncalcified lesions.

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