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CT Shows Coronary Artery Plaque Prevalent Among HIV-infected Men


Imaging with CT and coronary CT angiography shows prevalent and extensive presence of coronary artery plaque among men infected with HIV.

Computed tomography (CT) and coronary CT angiography detect noncalcified coronary artery plaque in HIV-infected men, regardless of cardiac risk factors, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers from Maryland, California, Pennsylvania and Illinois undertook a cross-sectional study to determine whether men infected with HIV have more coronary atherosclerosis tha[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"23820","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_4079388160591","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"1978","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"height: 200px; width: 267px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: right;","title":" ","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]n men without the virus. Data were obtained from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS).


A total of 1001 men, ages 40 to 70, who had sex with men were assessed; 618 were infected with HIV and 383 were not. None had any history of coronary revascularization. Noncontrast cardiac CT, performed on all men, was used to assess for the presence and extent of coronary artery calcium (CAC). Of this group, 759 also underwent coronary CT angiography to assess for any plaque, noncalcified, mixed or calcified plaque; or stenosis.

The researchers found that the HIV-infected men had a greater prevalence of CAC and any plaque, including noncalcified and mixed plaque, than the uninfected men. The association between HIV infection and any plaque or noncalcified plaque remained significant after CAD risk factor adjustment, the authors wrote.

HIV-infected men
Uninfected men
Noncalcified plaque
63.3 percent
53.1 percent
Plaque in any coronary segment
77.6 percent
74.4 percent
Coronary artery stenosis greater than 50 percent*
16.9 percent
14.6 percent

The authors concluded that, “Coronary artery plaque, especially noncalcified plaque, is more prevalent and extensive in HIV-infected men, independent of CAD risk factors.”

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