Cardiomyopathy and encephalopathy in AIDS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HIV encephalopathy has been in the past years the most typical CNS disorder in patients with AIDS. Histologic abnormalities consist in astrocytosis, myelin pallor, infiltration by infected macrophages, resident microglia and multinucleated giant cells, generally in absence of direct infection of neurons. Mononuclear phagocytes in the brain are the main target of HIV-1 infection and the site of productive viral replication, and viral stimulation leads to the release of neurotoxic products causing neurologic damage. Subclinical cardiac abnormalities are common in HIV+ patients and several studies suggested a role for cytokines and other inflammatory products as mediators of cardiac abnormalities. The common pathway for neurologic and cardiac manifestations supports the relationship between neurologic disease and cardiac dysfunction in HIV infection. Clinical observations suggest that cardiomyopathy could be associated with encephalopathy in HIV+ patients and that it may affect survival. Antiretroviral therapy may reduce impact of neurologic and cardiac abnormalities by suppressing plasma HIV-1 viral load.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • HIV
  • HIV-dementia
  • Inducible nitric oxide synthase
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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