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1.  Impaired distensibility of ascending aorta in patients with HIV infection 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:167.
Our aim was to investigate the aortic distensibility (AD) of the ascending aorta and carotid artery intima-media thickness (c-IMT) in HIV-infected patients compared to healthy controls.
One hundred and five HIV-infected patients (86 males [82%], mean age 41 ± 0.92 years), and 124 age and sex matched HIV-1 uninfected controls (104 males [84%], mean age 39.2 ± 1.03 years) were evaluated by high-resolution ultrasonography to determine AD and c-IMT. For all patients and controls clinical and laboratory factors associated with atherosclerosis were recorded.
HIV- infected patients had reduced AD compared to controls: 2.2 ± 0.01 vs. 2.62 ± 0.01 10-6 cm2 dyn-1, respectively (p < 0.001). No difference was found in c-IMT between the two groups. In multiadjusted analysis, HIV infection was independently associated with decreased distensibility (beta –0.45, p < 0.001). Analysis among HIV-infected patients showed that patients exposed to HAART had decreased AD compared to HAART-naïve patients [mean (SD): 2.18(0.02) vs. 2.28(0.03) 10-6 cm2 dyn-1, p = 0.01]. In multiadjusted analysis, increasing age and exposure to HAART were independently associated with decreased AD.
HIV infection is independently associated with decreased distensibility of the ascending aorta, a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis. Increasing age and duration of exposure to HAART are factors further contributing to decreased AD.
PMCID: PMC3447671  PMID: 22846182
HIV; Aortic distensibility; HAART; Atherosclerosis; Carotid artery intima-media thickness
2.  Levels of Soluble CD40 Ligand (CD154) in Serum Are Increased in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1-Infected Patients and Correlate with CD4+ T-Cell Counts 
CD40 ligand (CD40L or CD154) is a costimulatory molecule expressed mainly on activated CD4+ T cells. Concentrations of the soluble form of CD40L (sCD40L) in serum were determined for a cohort of 77 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected patients before and after initiation of highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) by a quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Circulating sCD40L levels were higher by twofold in untreated patients than in healthy controls (means ± standard deviations [SD]: 1.41 ± 1.48 versus 0.69 ± 0.59 ng/ml; P < 0.001). HIV-1-infected patients classified as CD4 T-cell category 1 had significantly higher sCD40L levels than patients classified as CD4 categories 2 and 3 (mean ± SD: 2.08 ± 1.46 ng/ml versus 1.57 ± 1.58 [category 2] and 0.94 ± 1.25 ng/ml [category 3]; P = 0.046), while no correlation with clinical categories A, B, and C was found. Individual serum sCD40L levels correlated with CD4+ T-cell counts (P = 0.039) but not with viral load, gamma globulin levels, or acute-inflammatory-response markers. After 8 to 12 months of HAART, a further threefold increase of serum sCD40L levels, which paralleled the increase of CD4+ T-cell counts, was observed. These novel findings suggest that sCD40L measurement in HIV-1-infected patients could serve as a new surrogate marker useful in the assessment of treatment efficacy, especially in settings where well-equipped laboratories and funding required for CD4+ T-cell count and viral load measurements are not available.
PMCID: PMC120000  PMID: 11986259

Results 1-2 (2)