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


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Effect of Left Ventricular Dysfunction and Viral Load on Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death in Patients With Human Immunodeficiency Virus


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease and sudden cardiac death (SCD). Whether left ventricular (LV) dysfunction predicts SCD in those with HIV is unknown. We sought to determine the impact of LV dysfunction on SCD in patients with HIV. We previously characterized all SCDs and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) deaths in 2,860 consecutive patients in a public HIV clinic from 2000 to 2009. Transthoracic echocardiograms (TTEs) performed during the study period were identified. The effect of ejection fraction (EF), diastolic dysfunction, pulmonary artery pressure, and LV mass on SCD and AIDS death were evaluated: 423 patients had at least 1 TTE; 13 SCDs and 55 AIDS deaths had at least 1 TTE. In the propensity-adjusted analysis, EF 30% to 39% and EF<30% predicted SCD (hazard ratio [HR] 9.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.7 to 53.3, p=0.01 and HR 38.5, 95% CI 7.6 to 195.0, p<0.001, respectively) but not AIDS death. Diastolic dysfunction also predicted SCD (HR 14.8, 95% CI 4.0 to 55.4, p<0.001) but not AIDS death, even after adjusting for EF. The association between EF<40% and SCD was greater in subjects with detectable versus undetectable HIV RNA (adjusted HR 11.7, 95% CI 2.9 to 47.2, p=0.001 vs HR 2.7, 95% CI 0.3 to 27.6, p=0.41; p=0.07 for interaction). In conclusion, LV systolic dysfunction and diastolic dysfunction predict SCD but not AIDS death in a large HIV cohort, with greater effect in those with detectable HIV RNA. Further investigation is needed to thoroughly evaluate the effect of low EF and HIV factors on SCD incidence and the potential benefit of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy in this high-risk population.

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