Role of HCV infection in the development of carotid atherosclerosis in a cohort of HIV-infected patients
© Ferrara et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010
Published: 8 November 2010
HIV-infected patients have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Measurement of carotid artery intima-media-thickness (c-IMT) with colour-doppler-ultrasonography is a well-accepted, non-invasive method to assess carotid atherosclerosis.
Purpose of the study
To investigate whether HCV infection could be involved in the development of carotid atherosclerosis beside the well-known risk factors.
Patients and methods
In this cohort study, 322 consecutive HIV+ subjects were identified and enrolled between May 2009 and May 2010. A total of 153 patients were HIV/HCV co-infected, whereas 169 were HIV+ mono-infected; 237 patients were treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and 85 subjects were HAART-naïve. All patients underwent at least one c-IMT measurement by the same examiner; an IMT of >0.9 mm was considered pathological.
age >40 years
Cholesterolemia >200 mg/dL
Triglyceridemia >170 mg/dL
CDC Stage C
HAART - PI exposure
CD4 cell count <200/mmc
In this cohort, several risk factors seem contribute to inflammatory damage and c-IMT development. Among them, HCV co-infection has been identified as a major determinant of carotid atherosclerosis. If the role of HCV infection will be confirmed in further studies, HIV-HCV co-infected patients should be strictly monitored for the vascular status.
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