Autonomic and cardiovascular function in HIV spectrum disease: Early indications of cardiac pathophysiology

Kimberly A. Brownley, John R. Milanovich, Sarosh J. Motivala, Neil Schneiderman, Lise Fillion, Julie A. Graves, Nancy G. Klimas, Mary Ann Fletcher, Barry E. Hurwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Autonomic dysfunction in persons with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has been reported previously but its incidence in early stage HIV infection and its relation to cardiovascular function have not been fully examined. The present study evaluated cardiovascular and autonomic function in 55 HIV-seronegative, and 52 HIV-asymptomatic and 31 HIV-symptomatic seropositive men. Measures of hemodynamic and autonomic function were obtained at rest and during a standardized battery of autonomic tests. Results were compared across groups while controlling for age, body mass, and physical activity. Analyses indicated that measures of autonomic function did not differ among groups. However, at rest, both HIV seropositive groups exhibited diminished stroke volume and elevated diastolic blood pressure, albeit within normotensive levels. In addition, the ability to sustain a blood pressure response during prolonged challenge and the relationship between stroke volume and baroreceptor/vagal responsiveness were disrupted in the HIV-symptomatic group. Therefore, in the pre-AIDS stages of infection, autonomic functioning appeared intact; yet alterations in baroreceptor/vagal function associated with depressed myocardial function may be an early warning signal reflecting cardiovascular pathological processes potentially exacerbated by HIV spectrum disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-326
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Autonomic Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


  • AIDS
  • Autonomic
  • Cardiac output
  • Cardiovascular
  • HIV spectrum disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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