Coronary artery endothelial dysfunction is present in HIV-positive individuals without significant coronary artery disease

Micaela Iantorno, Michael Schär, Sahar Soleimanifard, Todd T. Brown, Richard Moore, Patricia Barditch-Crovo, Matthias Stuber, Shenghan Lai, Gary Gerstenblith, Robert G. Weiss, Allison G. Hays

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: HIV-positive (HIV+) individuals experience an increased burden of coronary artery disease (CAD) not adequately accounted for by traditional CAD risk factors. Coronary endothelial function (CEF), a barometer of vascular health, is depressed early in atherosclerosis and predict future events but has not been studied in HIV+ individuals. We tested whether CEF is impaired in HIV+ patients without CAD as compared with an HIV-negative (HIV-) population matched for cardiac risk factors. Design/methods: In this observational study, CEF was measured noninvasively by quantifying isometric handgrip exercise-induced changes in coronary vasoreactivity with MRI in 18 participants with HIV but no CAD (HIV+CAD-, based on prior imaging), 36 age-matched and cardiac risk factor-matched healthy participants with neither HIV nor CAD (HIV-CAD-), 41 patients with no HIV but with known CAD (HIV-CAD+), and 17 patients with both HIV and CAD (HIV+CAD+). Results: CEF was significantly depressed in HIV+CAD- patients as compared with that of risk-factor-matched HIV-CAD- patients (P < 0.0001) and was depressed to the level of that in HIV- participants with established CAD. Mean IL-6 levels were higher in HIV+ participants (P < 0.0001) and inversely related to CEF in the HIV+ patients (P = 0.007). Conclusion: Marked coronary endothelial dysfunction is present in HIV+ patients without significant CAD and is as severe as that in clinical CAD patients. Furthermore, endothelial dysfunction appears inversely related to the degree of inflammation in HIV+ patients as measured by IL-6. CEF testing in HIV+ patients may be useful for assessing cardiovascular risk and testing new CAD treatment strategies, including those targeting inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1281-1289
Number of pages9
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • HIV
  • MRI
  • coronary endothelial function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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