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Assessment of ventricular diastolic function in AIDS patients from Congo: a Doppler echocardiographic study
  1. B Longo-Mbenza,
  2. L V Seghers,
  3. E Kintoki Vita,
  4. K Tonduangu,
  5. M Bayekula
  1. Heart of Africa Cardiovascular Centre, Lomo Medical, Kinshasa/Limete, Congo
  1. Prof Dr Longo-Mbenza, Division of Cardiology, University of Kinshasa, BP 783, Kinshasa XI, Congo.


Objective To investigate the prevalence of left ventricular dysfunction in African patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The hypothesis was that HIV infected patients with left ventricular dysfunction are asymptomatic.

Methods M mode, cross sectional, and Doppler echocardiography were performed in 49 consecutive patients (30 HIV positive (HIV+) carriers and 19 AIDS patients). None of the patients or 58 controls had a medical history of cardiovascular abnormalities.

Results Cardiac abnormalities were not suspected on physical, electrocardiographic, and radiological examination. Forty two of the HIV infected patients had left ventricular diastolic dysfunction; this was more pronounced in AIDS patients than in HIV+ carriers. Systolic function was normal in both stages of HIV infection. Left ventricular isovolumic relaxation time (mean (SD)) increased from 87.2 (12.4) ms in the carrier state to 103.9 (19.3) ms in AIDS (p < 0.05, Bonferoni correction), peak early filling velocity declined from 0.54 (0.1) to 0.44 (0.1) m/s (p < 0.05), and late velocity increased from 0.64 (0.1) to 0.69 (0.2) m/s. A restrictive filling pattern was explained by concentric hypertrophy in 23 HIV infected patients, and by systemic amyloidosis with left ventricular dilatation in 12 of 49 HIV infected patients.

Conclusions Echocardiography is a useful technique for detecting left ventricular diastolic dysfunction in HIV infected patients with clinically unsuspected cardiac lesions. Systolic function was normal despite the presence of such cardiac abnormalities.

  • HIV infection
  • AIDS
  • diastolic dysfunction
  • black Africans
  • echocardiography

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