: Hyperlipidemia has been seen in patients receiving protease inhibitorbased antiretroviral therapy, prompting concern that such patients are at risk for accelerated coronary artery disease (CAD). To assess the risk of CAD in antiretroviraltreated HIV-infected men, we quantified coronary artery calcium (CAC), a sensitive and established marker of subclinical CAD, using electron beam computed tomography (EBCT) of coronary vessels. Sixty HIV-infected men who met the following criteria (cases) were enrolled in the study: age of 40 years or older; naive to antiretroviral therapy or use of a stable antiretroviral regimen for >=6 months (mean duration, 25.9 months; 41 patients were receiving protease inhibitor therapy); and no known CAD or no use of lipid-lowering agents. EBCT-derived CAC scores, serum lipid levels, history of antiretroviral therapy, and risk factors for CAD were obtained. Each case was compared with three age-, sex-, and race-matched HIV-negative controls randomly selected from a database including >9000 patients who had undergone EBCT. We determined differences in the proportion of cases and controls with CAC scores of >0 (detectable calcium) and clinically significant CAC for age range. There were no statistically significant differences between the number of cases and controls with detectable CAC (33% and 39%, respectively) and clinically significant CAC (18% and 17%, respectively). This study suggests that the rate of coronary atherosclerosis among HIV-infected patients who receive short-term antiretroviral therapy with or without protease inhibitors is not higher than that among age-, sex-, and racematched HIV-negative controls. These results need to be confirmed in larger long-term studies, with controls well matched for coronary risk factors.
(C) 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.