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1.  Elevated NT-pro-BNP Levels Are Associated with Comorbidities among HIV-Infected Women 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2009;25(10):997-1004.
Abstract
HIV infection is associated with left ventricular (LV) dysfunction and accelerated atherosclerosis. These conditions result in elevation of plasma natriuretic peptide (NP) levels. The present study compares N-terminal-pro-BNP (NT-pro-BNP) levels in HIV-infected and -uninfected women and identifies factors influencingNT-pro-BNP levels in HIV-infected women. A total of 454 HIV-infected and 200 HIV-uninfected participants from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) had NT-pro-BNP determination. Elevated NT-pro-BNP level was defined using previously determined age stratified cut-off values of >164 ng/liter (age <60 years) and >225 (age ≥ 60 years). HIV-infected women were older (41.6 ± 8.9 vs. 38.9 ± 10.5 years, p < 0.01) and were more likely to have anemia, hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies, and kidney dysfunction than HIV-uninfected women. HIV-infected women had significantly higher NT-pro-BNP levels (142.4 ± 524.8 vs. 73.6 ± 115.1 ng/liter, p = 0.01) and a higher prevalence of elevated NT-pro-BNP (12.1% vs. 7.5%; p = 0.08). In univariate analyses, elevated NT-pro-BNP was significantly associated with age, systolic BP, hypertension, anemia, triglyceride levels, kidney disease, and HCV seropositivity, but not HIV infection. In multivariate analysis, elevated NT-pro-BNP levels were significantly associated with anemia and kidney function, and had a borderline association with the presence of HCV antibodies. Among HIV-infected women, NT-pro-BNP levels were not independently associated with measures of severity of infection or with HAART use. Although HIV-infected women have higher NT-pro-BNP levels than HIV-uninfected women, the differences are due to non-HIV factors such as anemia, kidney disease, and HCV coinfection. These findings suggest that natriuretic peptide levels are a global marker of comorbidity in the setting of HIV infection.
doi:10.1089/aid.2009.0038
PMCID: PMC2791362  PMID: 19803714
2.  Czech health two decades on from the Velvet Revolution 
Lancet  2009;375(9710):179-181.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61293-9
PMCID: PMC2925692  PMID: 19913289
4.  The Association of HIV Infection with Left Ventricular Mass/Hypertrophy 
Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an independent predictor of major cardiovascular events. Cardiovascular risk is increased among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. To assess LV mass/hypertrophy in HIV infection, 654 women enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV Study underwent transthoracic echocardiography. There were 454 HIV-infected and 200 uninfected women, mean age 40.8 ± 9.3 years. LV mass/height2.7 was similar between the HIV-infected and the HIV-uninfected groups (41.4 ± 11.1 vs. 39.9 ± 10.3 g/h2.7; p = 0.37). The prevalence of LVH was similar between the two groups (LVH by LV mass/height2.7 criteria 15.0% vs. 13.0%, p = 0.29). Relative wall thickness (RWT), defined as the ratio of LV wall thickness to cavity diameter, was also similar between the HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected groups (0.36 ± 0.05 vs. 0.37 ± 0.06, p = 0.16). On multiple linear regression analysis adjusting for age, W/H ratio, triceps skinfold thickness, systolic/diastolic BP, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia; HIV status (b = 2.08, p = 0.02, CI 0.27–3.88); weight (b per kg = 0.15, p<0.01, CI 0.08–0.22); and smoking duration (b per one-year increase = 0.08, p = 0.03, CI 0.01–0.16) were independent correlates of LV mass/height2.7 (Model R2 = 0.20, p<0.001). Weight (aOR = 1.04, CI 1.01–1.06) and smoking duration (aOR = 1.03, CI 1.01–1.06) were independent correlates of LVH. Being HIV negative, increased age, increased triceps skinfold thickness, and higher W/H ratio were independent correlates of higher RWT. Among HIV-infected women, higher LV mass was not associated with a history of AIDS-defining illness, nadir CD4+ count <200 cells/μl, or with the duration of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Women taking NRTIs had higher LV mass. Higher RWT was associated with current CD4+ count. In conclusion, HIV infection is associated with greater LV mass but not with a higher prevalence of LVH. Among HIV-infected women, RWT, but not LV mass, is associated with the degree of immunosuppression.
doi:10.1089/aid.2008.0170
PMCID: PMC2801578  PMID: 19397399
5.  The Association of HIV Infection with Left Ventricular Mass/Hypertrophy 
Abstract
Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an independent predictor of major cardiovascular events. Cardiovascular risk is increased among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. To assess LV mass/hypertrophy in HIV infection, 654 women enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV Study underwent transthoracic echocardiography. There were 454 HIV-infected and 200 uninfected women, mean age 40.8 ± 9.3 years. LV mass/height2.7 was similar between the HIV-infected and the HIV-uninfected groups (41.4 ± 11.1 vs. 39.9 ± 10.3 g/h2.7; p = 0.37). The prevalence of LVH was similar between the two groups (LVH by LV mass/height2.7 criteria 15.0% vs. 13.0%, p = 0.29). Relative wall thickness (RWT), defined as the ratio of LV wall thickness to cavity diameter, was also similar between the HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected groups (0.36 ± 0.05 vs. 0.37 ± 0.06, p = 0.16). On multiple linear regression analysis adjusting for age, W/H ratio, triceps skinfold thickness, systolic/diastolic BP, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia; HIV status (b = 2.08, p = 0.02, CI 0.27–3.88); weight (b per kg = 0.15, p < 0.01, CI 0.08–0.22); and smoking duration (b per one-year increase = 0.08, p = 0.03, CI 0.01–0.16) were independent correlates of LV mass/height2.7 (Model R2 = 0.20, p < 0.001). Weight (aOR = 1.04, CI 1.01–1.06) and smoking duration (aOR = 1.03, CI 1.01–1.06) were independent correlates of LVH. Being HIV negative, increased age, increased triceps skinfold thickness, and higher W/H ratio were independent correlates of higher RWT. Among HIV-infected women, higher LV mass was not associated with a history of AIDS-defining illness, nadir CD4+ count <200 cells/μl, or with the duration of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Women taking NRTIs had higher LV mass. Higher RWT was associated with current CD4+ count. In conclusion, HIV infection is associated with greater LV mass but not with a higher prevalence of LVH. Among HIV-infected women, RWT, but not LV mass, is associated with the degree of immunosuppression.
doi:10.1089/aid.2008.0170
PMCID: PMC2801578  PMID: 19397399
6.  Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Elite Neutralizers: Individuals with Broad and Potent Neutralizing Activity Identified by Using a High-Throughput Neutralization Assay together with an Analytical Selection Algorithm▿ † 
Journal of Virology  2009;83(14):7337-7348.
The development of a rapid and efficient system to identify human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals with broad and potent HIV-1-specific neutralizing antibody responses is an important step toward the discovery of critical neutralization targets for rational AIDS vaccine design. In this study, samples from HIV-1-infected volunteers from diverse epidemiological regions were screened for neutralization responses using pseudovirus panels composed of clades A, B, C, and D and circulating recombinant forms (CRFs). Initially, 463 serum and plasma samples from Australia, Rwanda, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and Zambia were screened to explore neutralization patterns and selection ranking algorithms. Samples were identified that neutralized representative isolates from at least four clade/CRF groups with titers above prespecified thresholds and ranked based on a weighted average of their log-transformed neutralization titers. Linear regression methods selected a five-pseudovirus subset, representing clades A, B, and C and one CRF01_AE, that could identify top-ranking samples with 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) neutralization titers of ≥100 to multiple isolates within at least four clade groups. This reduced panel was then used to screen 1,234 new samples from the Ivory Coast, Kenya, South Africa, Thailand, and the United States, and 1% were identified as elite neutralizers. Elite activity is defined as the ability to neutralize, on average, more than one pseudovirus at an IC50 titer of 300 within a clade group and across at least four clade groups. These elite neutralizers provide promising starting material for the isolation of broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies to assist in HIV-1 vaccine design.
doi:10.1128/JVI.00110-09
PMCID: PMC2704778  PMID: 19439467
7.  Elevated NT-pro-BNP Levels Are Associated with Comorbidities among HIV-Infected Women 
AIDS research and human retroviruses  2009;25(10):997-1004.
HIV infection is associated with left ventricular (LV) dysfunction and accelerated atherosclerosis. These conditions result in elevation of plasma natriuretic peptide (NP) levels. The present study compares N-terminal-pro-BNP (NT-pro-BNP) levels in HIV-infected and -uninfected women and identifies factors influencing NT-pro-BNP levels in HIV-infected women. A total of 454 HIV-infected and 200 HIV-uninfected participants from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) had NT-pro-BNP determination. Elevated NT-pro-BNP level was defined using previously determined age stratified cut-off values of >164 ng/liter (age <60 years) and >225 (age ≥60 years). HIV-infected women were older (41.6 ± 8.9 vs. 38.9 ± 10.5 years, p <0.01) and were more likely to have anemia, hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies, and kidney dysfunction than HIV-uninfected women. HIV-infected women had significantly higher NT-pro-BNP levels (142.4 ± 524.8 vs. 73.6 ± 115.1 ng/liter, p = 0.01) and a higher prevalence of elevated NT-pro-BNP (12.1% vs. 7.5%; p = 0.08). In univariate analyses, elevated NT-pro-BNP was significantly associated with age, systolic BP, hypertension, anemia, triglyceride levels, kidney disease, and HCV seropositivity, but not HIV infection. In multivariate analysis, elevated NT-pro-BNP levels were significantly associated with anemia and kidney function, and had a borderline association with the presence of HCV antibodies. Among HIV-infected women, NT-pro-BNP levels were not independently associated with measures of severity of infection or with HAART use. Although HIV-infected women have higher NT-pro-BNP levels than HIV-uninfected women, the differences are due to non-HIV factors such as anemia, kidney disease, and HCV coinfection. These findings suggest that natriuretic peptide levels are a global marker of comorbidity in the setting of HIV infection.
doi:10.1089/aid.2009.0038
PMCID: PMC2791362  PMID: 19803714

Results 1-7 (7)