The success of antiretroviral therapies in improving the survival of patients infected with HIV and reducing HIV-associated opportunistic infections is undisputed. Nevertheless, long-term outcomes such as noninfectious cardiovascular complications, including cardiomegaly, pericarditis, myocarditis, and pulmonary arterial hypertension, are now serious concerns. The lung is a frequent target organ for disorders associated with HIV infection. HIV-related pulmonary arterial hypertension (HRPAH) affects more individuals who are infected with HIV than individuals who are uninfected. Moreover, the long-standing estimated prevalence of HRPAH in developed countries (calculated at 0.5%) is increasing as more clinician-scientists unify their efforts to screen patients who are pulmonary asymptomatic for pulmonary arterial hypertension. In order to decrease mortality, efforts are directed at early detection, diagnosis, and therapeutic interventions before the disease compromises patients' quality of life. This article reviews the logistics of screening approaches for HRPAH and discusses the substantial disease burden currently faced by developing countries, where the prevalence of HIV infection is higher and complicated by hyperendemic risk factors, limited access to antiretrovirals, and lack of screening tools. We also present mechanistic insights into HRPAH, including the role of HIV proteins and their potential use as screening tools, and, finally, areas that still need intense research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine