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HIV Clin Trials. 2011 May-Jun;12(3):141-50. doi: 10.1310/hct1203-141.

Cardiovagal autonomic function in HIV-infected patients with unsuppressed HIV viremia.

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Hawaii Center for AIDS, Department of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816, USA.



HIV infection has been implicated in dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system.


Cross-sectional study examining the relationship between the presence of persistent detectable HIV viral load with autonomic function, measured by heart rate variability (HRV). Non-virologic suppression (NVS) was defined as having a detectable viral load for at least 3 months prior to autonomic function testing. HRV was measured during the following 4 maneuvers: resting and paced respirations and sustained handgrip and tilt. Inferences on parasympathetic and sympathetic modulations were determined by analyzing time and frequency domains of HRV.


57 participants were enrolled in 3 groups: 22 were HIV-infected participants with HIV virologic suppression (VS; undetectable HIV viral load), 9 were HIV-infected participants who had NVS, and 26 were HIV seronegative controls. There were lower time domain parameters in the HIV-infected group as a whole compared to controls. There were no significant differences in time domain parameters among HIV-infected participants. There were no differences in frequency domain parameters during any of the maneuvers between controls and all HIV-infected participants, nor between the NVS and VS groups.


There were differences in autonomic function between HIV-infected individuals and HIV seronegative controls, but not between the NVS and VS groups.

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