Colour-Doppler ultrasonography of carotid vessels in patients treated with antiretroviral therapy: A comparative study

Paolo Maggi, Antonio Lillo, Francesco Perilli, Renato Maserati, Antonio Chirianni, G. Epifani, G. Fiorentino, N. Ladisa, G. Pastore, D. Angiletta, G. Impedovo, G. Regina, M. Gargiulo, S. Ferraro, S. Ferrara, B. Grisorio, R. Maserali, G. Ravasi, A. Martignoni, C. PellegrinoM. Fanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To evaluate the correlation between antiretroviral therapy (ART) and lesions of the carotid vessels using an ultrasound colour-Doppler technique. Design: A total of 293 HIV-1 infected patients underwent epiaortic vessel ultrasonography: 105 on treatment with protease inhibitors (PI) (group I), 125 PI-naive patients treated with a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-including regimen (group II), and 63 patients treated with two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors or naive to ART (group III). Methods: Intima characteristics, pulsation and resistance indexes, and minimal, peak and mean speed were evaluated using a colour power doppler. Atherosclerotic plaques were described. Independent risk factors and values for glycaemia, cholesterolaemia and triglyceridaemia were considered. Statistical analysis included the Wilcoxon tests, the χ2 test, the Cochran Armitage trend test and the Mantel-Haenszel test and, when necessary, logistic regression analysis. Results: Of the 150 group I patients, 55 (52.4%) presented acquired lesions of the vascular wall at ultrasonography, whereas similar lesions were found in 19 out of 125 (15.2%) patients in group II and in nine of 63 (14.3%) in group III. ART, age, smoking and CD4 T-cell count were the main predictive risk factors for vascular lesions. However, the highest significance was with the use of PI. Conclusions: These data confirm the higher prevalence of premature carotid lesions in the PI-treated patients. A periodic ultrasonographic study of the vascular wall should be included in the follow-up of HIV infected patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1028
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS (London, England)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 30 2004


  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Artheroslerosis
  • Carotid
  • Colour-Doppler ultrasonography
  • HIV
  • Protease inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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