Right and left cardiac function in HIV-infected patients investigated using radionuclide ventriculography and brain natriuretic peptide: a 5-year follow-up study


Dr Ulrik Sloth Kristoffersen, Department of Clinical Physiology, Nuclear Medicine & PET, KF-4012, Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 9, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark. Tel: +45 3545 8460; fax: +45 3545 4015; e-mail: ulriksk@mfi.ku.dk



The aim of the study was to determine the incidence of myocardial dysfunction in an HIV-infected population receiving state-of-the-art treatment.


Between April 2001 and July 2002, 91 HIV-infected patients had a radionuclide ventriculography performed with determination of right ventricular ejection fraction (RVEF) and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), as well as measurement of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP). Between July 2005 and January 2007, 63 patients (69%) agreed to participate in a follow-up study with a mean follow-up of 4.5 years.


All patients had normal LVEF at both examinations. A minimal increase in mean LVEF of 0.02 was observed at follow-up (P=0.01). At the initial visit, four patients [6%; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2–15%] had a reduced RVEF, and at follow-up two patients (3%; 95% CI 0–11%) had slightly reduced RVEF. No significant change in mean RVEF was found. No patients had increased BNP and no change in mean plasma BNP was found.


HIV-related cardiomyopathy appears not to constitute a problem in closely monitored, well-treated HIV-infected patients. Compared with pre-highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) studies, it seems that the improvement in immunocompetency and viral load has removed the problem of HIV-related cardiomyopathy. Although HAART has been suggested as a possible new cause of cardiomyopathy, we did not find any evidence of this.