The incidence of HIV infection has increased significantly over the last several years. On August 2008 the CDC released a new estimate of the annual number of new HIV infection cases in the US which indicates approximately 56,300 people were infected in 2006; of these 46% were African Americans. With new treatments patients are living longer and cardiac complications are being diagnosed frequently. In this study we report different cardiac complications diagnosed by echocardiography.
We reviewed the medical records and echo findings of 114 HIV positive patients that were managed in the hospital between 2005 and 2006. There were 63 men and 51 women. The age range was 30–78 years most between 40–49 years.
Seventy-Five (75) patients (65.8%) had mitral regurgitation, 67 patients (58.8%) had pulmonary hypertension. In 60 of these patients pulmonary hypertension was associated with left heart disease and in 7 patients there was no evidence of other cardiac involvement. Pericardial effusion was found in 47 patients (41.2%), 31 patients (27.2%) had diastolic dysfunction and 28 patients (24.6%) had systolic dysfunction. Aortic regurgitation was found in 18 patients (15.8%), and cardiomyopathy was documented in 12 patients (10.5%). HAART therapy did not have any significant effect on echo findings.
Compared to other HIV patients previously reported, African Americans have a higher incidence of cardiac abnormalities. Of these MR is the most common. Pulmonary hypertension and pericardial effusion are more common than what has been reported in other studies. The incidence of cardiomyopathy is less than the reported incidence in other HIV populations.
Echocardiographic abnormalities are common among HIV positive patients including pulmonary hypertension. Evaluation of HIV positive patients with dyspnea should include an echocardiogram.
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