BACKGROUND : Of all areas worldwide, sub-Saharan Africa is worst affected by the HIV and/or
AIDS epidemic. Cardiovascular manifestations are very common and are a powerful
contributor to mortality, but often go undetected. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR)
is the most reliable method of assessing cardiac function and morphology and, with this in
mind, we initiated a cross-sectional study comparing CMR-determined morphological and
functional parameters in asymptomatic HIV-infected patients who were not yet on treatment
and early in the disease, with HIV-uninfected control patients.
OBJECTIVES : To ascertain whether there were any morphological abnormalities or systolic
functional impairments on CMR in untreated asymptomatic HIV-infected patients, compared
with HIV-uninfected control individuals.
METHODS : The CMR studies were performed using a 1.5-T whole-body clinical magnetic
resonance 16-channel scanner (Achieva, Philips Medical Systems, Best, The Netherlands),
using a cardiac five-element phased-array receiver coil (SENSE coil). Functional assessment
was performed on 36 HIV-infected patients and the findings compared with 35 HIV-uninfected
control patients who were matched for age and sex.
RESULTS : There was no significant difference in systolic function between the HIV-uninfected
and the HIV-infected patients. The left ventricular end diastolic mass (LVEDM) was slightly
higher in the HIV-infected group, but this was statistically insignificant.
CONCLUSION : No significant differences were found regarding the CMR systolic functional
analysis and morphological parameters between the HIV-infected and the healthy volunteers.