Echocardiographic Assessment of Systolic Pulmonary Arterial Pressure in HIV-Positive Patients
Pulmonary hypertension is rare but is one of the complications that occur due to HIV infection. Symptoms of HIV-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension are often non-specific but the main symptom of the disease is dyspnea. In this cross-sectional study, we measured systolic pulmonary arterial pressure (SPAP) by echocardiographic methods among HIV-positive patients who received ART. This research is a descriptive, cross-sectional study of 170 HIV-positive patients that was conducted in Imam-Khomeini hospital, Tehran, Iran during 2011-2013. All patients regularly received antiretroviral therapy at least for recent 2 years. There were not any cardiopulmonary symptoms (cough, dyspnea, exertional fatigue and chest discomfort) in these patients. All participants underwent echocardiography to estimate SPAP. The participants comprised 108 males (63.5%) and 62 females (46.5%). The mean age of patients was 41 years old, and the mean duration of HIV infection was 5.5 years. The mean CD4 cell count was 401 cell/µl. The principal regimen of antiretroviral therapy included two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) and one non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) in the hospital. The mean of systolic pulmonary arterial pressure was 25 mmHg in the participants; 156 (93.4%) of them had SPAP ≤ 30 mmHg (normal), six (3.6%) had SPAP: 31-35 mmHg (borderline) and five (3%) had SPAP > 35 mmHg (pulmonary hypertension). Our results indicated a significant increase of pulmonary hypertension in asymptomatic HIV-positive patients that had no association with any other risk factor. Also, antiretroviral therapy was not a risk factor for pulmonary hypertension in this study.
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