Background: Echocardiography is a reliable means for the diagnosis of
functional and valvular diseases of the heart in HIV positive and HIV negative patients.
The current study was to evaluate echocardiographic abnormalities in HIV
positive patients under an antiretroviral therapy (ART) program in Tehran, Imam
Khomeini Hospital, Iran.
Methods: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study, conducted among 231 HIV-1
positive patients under ART. All HIV positive patients including 150 men (65%) and
81 women (35%) (mean age of 41 years) were assessed by trans-thoracic echocardiography
(TTE) in Imam Khomeini Hospital, over the period from 2013 to 2014.
Results: The mean CD4 count was 408 cell/μl, and the average left ventricular ejection
fraction (LVEF) was 59.5%. There was an inverse correlation between age and
LVEF level. Nevirapine users showed a significantly higher LVEF than non-users.
Left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) was diagnosed in 5.6% along with the
increase in age, while left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) was reported in
19.5% of patients associated with age and smoking. Here, the mean systolic pulmonary
arterial pressure (SPAP) was only 20 mmHg and just four percent of the patients
suffered pulmonary hypertension. Almost 44% had a heart valve disorder
among which mitral valve prolapse is the most common problem. Pericardial effusion
was not found in any patients.
Conclusion: It seems that heart disorders with no suggestive symptoms in HIV positive
patients, and mainly older adults who have traditional risk factors for heart diseases,
should be seriously considered by health providers.