The cardiovascular system is frequently involved in children infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The clinical picture, however, may be dominated by intercurrent infections, hepatosplenomegaly, interstitial lung disease, malnutrition, and anemia; thus, the cardiovascular involvement may be occult. Early diagnosis of cardiovascular disease permits prompt intervention, which delays and possibly prevents complications such as progressive left ventricular dysfunction. Therefore, routine serial monitoring of left ventricular function with echocardiography is advised in HIV-ifected children, allowing early identification and successful treatment of many patients with heart failure in whom the clinical picture may be erroneously attributed solely to pulmonary disease or intercurrent infection. Identification of the mechanism of arrhythmias caused by myocarditis, inflammation of the conduction system, electrolye abnormalities, and complications from drug therapy (eg, prolonged QT(c) from pentamidine therapy) allows institution of prompt therapy and possible prevention of cardiorespiratory arrest.
- acquired immune deficiency syndrome
- cardiorespiratory arrest
- human immunodeficiency virus
- left ventricular dysfunction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine