Is the atherosclerotic process accentuated under conditions of HIV infection, antiretroviral therapy, and protease inhibitor exposure? Meta-analysis of the markers of arterial structure and function


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the apparent association of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, antiretroviral therapy (ART), and protease inhibitor (PI) exposure with the functional and structural markers of vasculature. METHODS: A meta-analysis of the relationship between HIV infection, ART, and PI exposure and the functional and structural markers of vasculature. A systematic literature search was performed electronically using specific eligibility criteria. Weighted mean difference (WMD) and corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated and combined appropriately. RESULTS: Fifty-seven articles were included with nine different outcomes. Compared with HIV-negative patients, HIV-positive patients demonstrated significant elevated intima-media thickness (IMT) (WMD (95% CI) = 0.042 (0.028-0.057)), increased pulse wave velocity (PWV) (0.538 (0.283-0.792)), and reduced flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) (-2.049 (-2.806 to -1.293)). Elevated IMT was observed in HIV patients receiving ART when compared with those naive to ART in the 20- to 40-year-old age group (0.078 (0.033-0.123)), the >40-year-old age group (0.038 (0.018-0.057)), and the group comprising >50% males (0.070 (0.041-0.099)). In addition, ART resulted in an increased PWV in HIV patients receiving ART in the group with >50% male proportion (0.628 (0.405-0.851)). HIV patients exposed to PI showed a significant trend toward elevated IMT (0.033 (0.007-0.058)) and increased PWV (0.264 (0.118-0.410)) compared with those without PI exposure. CONCLUSIONS: The atherosclerotic process was accentuated by elevated IMT, increased PWV, and reduced FMD under condition of HIV infection. Comparison of ART-receiving with ART-naive patients showed a significant trend toward elevated IMT and increased PWV, especially under treatment with PI-containing drugs.


Sun D, Wu Y, Yuan Y, Wang Y, Liu W, Yang J.




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
    • Other
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment
  • Co-morbidities
    • Other


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