High prevalence at computed coronary tomography of non-calcified plaques in asymptomatic HIV patients treated with HAART: A meta-analysis
INTRODUCTION: Asymptomatic patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are at increased risk of vascular disease. Whether asymptomatic HIV patients have increased prevalence or structural differences in coronary artery plaques is not clear. METHODS: Pubmed, Cochrane and Google Scholar were searched for articles evaluating asymptomatic HIV patients evaluated with coronary computed tomography. The prevalence of coronary stenosis (defined as >30% and >50%), of calcified coronary plaques (CCP) viewed as more ‘stable’ plaques, and of non-calcified coronary plaques (NCP) viewed as more ‘vulnerable’ plaques were the end points of interest. RESULTS: 9 studies with 1229 HIV patients and 1029 controls were included. No significant differences were detected about baseline cardiovascular risk profile. The prevalence of significant coronary stenosis>30% or >50% did not differ between HIV+ and HIV- patients (42% [37-44] and 46% [35-52] with an Odds Ratio [OR] of 1.38 [0.86-2.20] for >30% stenosis) and (15% [9-21] and 14% [7-22] with an OR of 1.11 [0.81-1.52]), respectively. The prevalence of calcified coronary plaques (CCP) (31% [24-32] and 21% [14-30] with an OR of 1.17 [0.63-2.16]) also did not differ among HIV+ and HIV- patients. On the contrary rates of NCP were >3-fold higher in HIV-positive patients [58% (48-60) and 17% (14-27) with an OR of 3.26 (1-30-8.18)], with an inverse relationship with CD4 cell count at meta-regression (Beta -0.20 [-0.35-0.18], p 0.04). CONCLUSION: Asymptomatic HIV patients present a similar burden of coronary stenosis and calcified coronary artery plaques but significantly higher rates of non-calcific coronary plaques at computed tomography. The association between HIV infection, reduced CD4 cell counts and higher prevalence on non-calcific coronary artery plaques may shed light into the pathogenesis in HIV-associated coronary artery disease, stressing the importance of primary prevention in this population.
D'Ascenzo F, Cerrato E, Calcagno A, Grossomarra W, Ballocca F, Omedè P, Montefusco A, Veglia S, Barbero U, Gili S, Cannillo M, Pianelli M, Mistretta E, Raviola A, Salera D, Garabello D, Mancone M, Estrada V, Escaned J, De Marie D, Abbate A, Bonora S, Zoccai GB, Moretti C, Gaita F.
- General HIV+ population