Summary:HIV and AIDS involve multiple organ systems. Lungs, brain, skin, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and heart are the major organs targeted by the direct effects of HIV infection and the secondary opportunistic complications of AIDS. Although most other organ system involvement has been extensively described in numerous studies and reviews, cardiac abnormalities related to HIV infection have remained less well characterized, partially because their pathogenesis was less clear and their clinical significance was uncertain. Most studies that have described cardiac complications in AIDS patients were postmortem, although some clinical series have been reported. It is now clear that cardiac involvement in AIDS patients is relatively common. Although most such conditions are clinically quiescent, some may have devastating and fatal outcomes. Pericardial effusion and myocarditis are among the most commonly reported abnormalities. Cardiomyopathy, endocarditis, and coronary vasculopathy have also been reported. In this review, we discuss the most common cardiac abnormalities in HIV-infected patients, as well as their clinical significance, clinical presentation, and management.
Address correspondence to Valerie E. Stone, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brown University School of Medicine, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, 111 Brewster Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860, U.S.A.
Address reprint requests to Valerie E. Stone, General Internal Medicine, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, 111 Brewster Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860, U.S.A.
Manuscript received November 19, 1997; accepted November 19, 1997.
© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.