PURPOSE: To study the prevalence of autonomic dysfunction in HIV patients and its relation to the duration of infection, CD4 count and HAART therapy.
METHODS: The patient's population included HIV infected patients at an outpatient inner city clinic. Patients with other disorders or are on medication that may affect the autonomic nervious system were excluded. The medical records were reviewed for the most recent CD4 count, viral load and history of antiretroviral therapy. A series of standardized tests to diagnose autonomic dysfunction were performed on 20 patients. These tests included:1- heart rate variability with deep breathing,2- heart rate variability with the valsalva maneuver, 3- heart rate and blood pressure response to standing and blood pressure response to isometric exercise.
RESULTS: 20 patients were recruited, overall 19/20(95%) were found to have evidence of autonomic dysfunction on at least one of the six standardized tests. There was no correlation between the number of positive tests and the CD4 count, viral load, years since diagnosis or the use of antiretroviral therapy.
CONCLUSION: The study demonstrates the high prevalence of autonomic dysfunction in HIV infected patients and the lake of correlation with markers of disease severity or disease duration.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The prevalence of autonomic dysfunction in HIV patients is significant. Further emphasis on screening and therapy is warranted. The lake of coloration with markers of disease severity sheds some light on the possible pathopysiological mechanisms responsible for this frequently overlooked disorder.
DISCLOSURE: Mohannad Bisharat, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information