Article Title

Lower coronary plaque burden in patients with HIV presenting with acute coronary syndrome


Objective: Treated HIV infection is associated with a higher incidence of coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction, although the mechanisms remain unclear. We sought to characterise the burden of coronary artery disease in men with HIV using retrospective data from invasive coronary angiograms in patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

Methods: Demographic and coronary angiographic data were obtained from 160 men with ST elevation myocardial infarction, non-STEMI or high-risk chest pain; 73 HIV-infected cases and 87 age-matched controls. The burden of coronary disease was calculated using the Gensini Angiographic Scoring System by 2 independent cardiologists blinded to HIV status.

Results:The 2 groups were matched for age, sex and cardiac event subtype and there was no difference in rates of smoking or cholesterol levels. Compared with control participants, patients with HIV had higher usage of antihypertensives (46 (63%) vs 30 (35%), p

Conclusions Men with HIV presenting with ACS paradoxically had a lower burden of coronary plaque than matched controls, despite more aggressive risk factor management, suggesting that plaque vulnerability, rather than total burden of atherosclerosis, may be important in the pathophysiology of coronary artery disease in men with HIV.


coronary artery disease, acute coronary syndrome, men with HIV, coronary plaque

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