Abacavir antiretroviral therapy and indices of subclinical vascular disease in persons with HIV

Claudia A. Martinez, Rishi Rikhi, Mollie S. Pester, Meela Parker, Alex Gonzalez, Michaela Larson, Jennifer Chavez, Armando Mendez, Jeffrey K. Raines, Michael A. Kolber, Ivonne H. Schulman, Maria L. Alcaide, Barry E. Hurwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective Indices of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, vascular endothelial dilation, arterial stiffness and endothelial repair were examined in persons with HIV (PWH) on an antiretroviral therapy (ART) that included abacavir (ABC+) in comparison with PWH on ART without abacavir (ABC-), and with HIV seronegative (HIV-) individuals. Approach The 115 participants (63% men), aged 30–50 years, did not have CVD, metabolic, endocrine, or chronic renal conditions. PWH were on stable ART for six-months or more. Vascular assessments included flow-mediated dilation (FMD), aortic, radial and femoral arterial stiffness (cAIx, crPWV, cfPWV), and thigh and calf arterial compliance (Vmax50). Endothelial repair was indexed by endothelial progenitor cell colony forming units (EPC-CFU). Traditional CVD risk measures included blood pressure, central adiposity, lipids, insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), CRP and ASCVD score. Analyses controlled for demographics (age, sex, education), medications (antihypertensive, statin/fibrate, antipsychotic), and substance abuse (ASSIST). Results No group differences were observed in central adiposity, HOMA-IR, CRP, or ASCVD risk score. However, the ABC- group displayed greater dyslipidemia. The ABC+ group displayed no difference on FMD, cAIx, cfPWV or calf Vmax50 compared with other groups. When CD4 count and viral load were controlled, no additional differences between the ABC+ and ABC- groups emerged. Analyses of crPWV and thigh Vmax50 suggested supported by a trend toward lower EPC-CFU in the HIV+ groups than the HIV- group. Conclusions Findings indicate that ABC treatment of 30–50 year-old PWH on stable ART is not likely to contribute in a robust way to higher CVD risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0264445
JournalPloS one
Issue number3 March
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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