Background - Left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is common in children infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but its clinical importance is unclear. Our objective was to determine whether abnormalities of LV structure and function independently predict all-cause mortality in HIV-infected children. Methods and Results - Baseline echocardiograms were obtained on 193 children with vertically transmitted HIV infection (median age, 2.1 years). Children were followed up for a median of 5 years. Cox regression was used to identify measures of LV structure and function predictive of mortality after adjustment for other important demographic and baseline clinical risk factors. The time course of cardiac variables before mortality was also examined. The 5-year cumulative survival was 64%. Mortality was higher in children who, at baseline, had depressed LV fractional shortening (FS) or contractility; increased LV dimension, thickness, mass, or wall stress; or increased heart rate or blood pressure (P≤0.02 for each). Decreased LV FS (P<0.001) and increased wall thickness (P=0.004) were also predictive of increased mortality after adjustment for CD4 count (P<0.001), clinical center (P<0.001), and encephalopathy (P<0.001). FS showed abnormalities for up to 3 years before death, whereas wall thickness identified a population at risk only 18 to 24 months before death. Conclusions - Depressed LV FS and increased wall thickness are risk factors for mortality in HIV-infected children independent of depressed CD4 cell count and neurological disease. FS may be useful as a long-term predictor and wall thickness as a short-term predictor of mortality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine