Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Association of Macrophage Inflammation Biomarkers With Progression of Subclinical Carotid Artery Atherosclerosis in HIV-Infected Women and Men



Monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages promote atherosclerosis through increased inflammation and vascular remodeling. This may be especially true in chronic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.


We examined 778 women (74% HIV+) in the Women's Interagency HIV Study and 503 men (65% HIV+) in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study who underwent repeated B-mode carotid artery ultrasound imaging in 2004-2013. We assessed baseline associations of the serum macrophage inflammation markers soluble (s)CD163, sCD14, galectin-3 (Gal-3), and Gal-3 binding protein (Gal-3BP) with carotid plaque formation (focal intima-media thickness >1.5 mm) over 7 years.


Marker levels were higher in HIV+ persons versus HIV- persons. Presence of focal plaque increased over time: from 8% to 15% in women, and 24% to 34% in men. After adjustment for demographic, behavioral, and cardiometabolic factors, and CRP and interleukin-6, each standard deviation increase in sCD14 was associated with increased plaque formation (risk ratio [RR] 1.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.07-1.43). This pattern was consistentby sex. sCD163 was associated with plaque formation in virally suppressed HIV+ men (RR 1.52, 95% CI 1.04-2.22); Gal-3BP and Gal-3 were not associated with increased plaque.


sCD14 and sCD163 may play important roles in atherogenesis among HIV+ persons.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View