Comparison of brachial and carotid artery ultrasound for assessing extent of subclinical atherosclerosis in HIV: a prospective cohort study
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BACKGROUND: Non-invasive surrogate measures which are valid and responsive to change are needed to study cardiovascular risks in HIV. We compared the construct validity of two noninvasive arterial measures: carotid intima medial thickness (IMT), which measures anatomic disease; and brachial flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD), a measure of endothelial dysfunction. METHODS: A sample of 257 subjects aged 35 years or older, attending clinics in five Canadian centres, were prospectively recruited into a study of cardiovascular risk among HIV subjects. The relationship between baseline IMT or FMD and traditional vascular risk factors was studied using regression analysis. We analyzed the relationship between progression of IMT or FMD and risk factors using fixed-effects models. We adjusted for use of statin medication and CD4 count in both models. RESULTS: Baseline IMT was significantly associated with age (p < 0.001), male gender (p = 0.034), current smoking status (p < 0.001), systolic blood pressure (p < 0.001) and total:HDL cholesterol ratio (p = 0.004), but not statin use (p = 0.904) and CD4 count (p = 0.929). IMT progression was significantly associated with age (p < 0.001), male gender (p = 0.0051) and current smoking status (p = 0.011), but not statin use (p = 0.289) and CD4 count (p = 0.927). FMD progression was significantly associated with current statin use (p = 0.019), but not CD4 count (p = 0.84). Neither extent nor progression of FMD was significantly associated with any of the examined vascular risk factors. CONCLUSION: IMT correlates better than FMD with established cardiovascular risk factors in this cohort of HIV patients. Standardization of protocols for FMD and IMT will facilitate the comparison of results across studies.
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