Cardiac function in vertically HIV-infected children and adolescents in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy

Talía Sainz, María Álvarez-Fuente, Rodrigo Fernández-Jiménez, María Isabel González-Tomé, María Isabel De José, José Tomás Ramos, María Luisa Navarro, Jorge Martínez, Milagros García-Hortelano, Constancio Medrano, María Ángeles Muñoz-Fernández, María José Mellado

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13 Scopus citations


Background: Previous studies have demonstrated increased risk of adverse cardiac outcomes in adults with HIV infection. However, few studies have addressed this problem in vertically HIV-infected children and adolescents, and the long-term cardiac health of this unique population in the antiretroviral therapy era is still unknown. Methods: Ventricular function was evaluated cross-sectionally in a group of HIV-infected children and adolescents and healthy controls, using conventional echocardiography along with tissue Doppler imaging and strain analysis by speckle tracking. Simultaneously, measurements of carotid intima-media thickness were performed. Results: A total of 64 cases and 58 controls were included, mean age was 13.6 ± 5.4 years and 64% were females. All but 2 patients were on antiretroviral treatment, and 64% had undetectable viral load. HIV-infected patients showed higher intima-media thickness (0.425 ± 0.019 vs. 0.415 ± 0.019 mm, P = 0.003). Statistically significant differences were found between groups in ejection fraction and fractional shortening (66.1% and 36.2% in the HIV-infected group vs. 71.5% and 40.8% in the control group, respectively, P = 0.001), although individual values fell within or near normal ranges. There were no significant differences in diastolic function, tissue Doppler imaging or cardiac strain (longitudinal and rotational) between both groups. No associations were identified between echocardiographic parameters and current CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts, CD4+ T-lymphocyte nadir, HIV viral load, duration or type of antiretroviral treatment regimens. Conclusions: In a context of highly effective antiretroviral treatment, no differences were found regarding cardiac abnormalities using conventional and advanced ultrasound imaging techniques in this cohort of vertically HIV-infected children and adolescents, when compared with healthy controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e125-e131
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 21 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV
  • IMT
  • cardiac function
  • children and adolescents
  • echocardiography
  • speckle tracking


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