Left Ventricular Dysfunction in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection


W. Todd Cade, PT, PhD, Campus Box 8502, Program in Physical Therapy and the Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, 4444 Forest Park Boulevard, St Louis, MO 63108-2212
E-mail: tcade@wustl.edu


The relationship between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and cardiovascular disease is still under debate, but it appears that the risk of myocardial infarction in those with HIV infection who are receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is increased. There has been less focus, however, on the effect of HIV and HAART on left ventricular function. Evidence from the past 20 years in both Westernized and developing countries has indicated that subclinical left ventricular dysfunction in HIV-infected individuals with and without well-controlled HIV infection is prevalent and may represent emerging cardiac disease. The specific roles of HIV infection and HAART are unclear, but they may exert independent direct and indirect effects on the myocardium. These effects may include chronic inflammation, metabolic complications (ie, insulin resistance, lipotoxicity, dyslipidemia), and mitochondrial toxicity. The objective of this article is to review the evidence for HIV- and HAART-related left ventricular dysfunction in persons infected with HIV.