Cardiovascular manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus infection in infants and children

Steven E. Lipshultz, Stephen Chanock, Stephen P. Sanders, Steven D. Colan, Antonio Perez-Atayde, Kenneth McIntosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thirty-one pediatric patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection were prospectively evaluated using 2-dimensional and M-mode echocardiography, Doppler cardiography, electrocardiography and Holter monitoring. Left ventricular shape, wall motion and valve morphology were evaluated with 2-dimensional echocardiography. Valve function was assessed using Doppler cardiography. Left ventricular performance was evaluated with shortening fraction, afterload with end-systolic wall stress and contractility with the end-systolic wall stress and rate-corrected velocity of shortening relation. Although left ventricular performance, afterload and contractility varied widely, 2 patterns of left ventricular function abnormalities were noted. Hyperdynamic left ventricular performance, generally with enhanced contractility and reduced afterload, was the most common echocardiographic finding (63%). Diminished contractility was noted in 8 patients (26%), including 4 patients with symptomatic dilated cardiomyopathy. Serial echocardiographic evaluation revealed changes from the original level (elevated, normal or depressed) of left ventricular function, afterload or contractility in 89%. Pericardial effusion without tamponade was seen in 8 patients (26%). Mononuclear pericarditis, myocarditis and inflammation of the intracardiac conduction tissue as well as peripheral nerve were seen in autopsy specimens, yet histologic or culture evidence of myocardial infection with opportunistic organisms was lacking. High grade atrial (1 patient) and ventricular (3 patients) ectopy, as well as second-degree atrioventricular block, were observed. Cardiac abnormalities, detectable by noninvasive methods but often clinically inapparent, appear to be common in children with human immunodeficiency virus infection and may cause symptoms or even death. Due to the marked variation in ventricular loading conditions in these patients, a load-independent index of contractility must be used. Routine serial noninvasive assessment of this population is strongly recommended because significant, but often occult, cardiac abnormalities are common.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1489-1497
Number of pages9
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Issue number20
StatePublished - Jun 15 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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