Role of human immunodeficiency virus in primary pulmonary hypertension: Case reports

A. M. Pellicelli, F. Palmieri, C. D'Ambrosio, A. Rianda, E. Boumis, E. Girardi, G. Antonucci, C. D'Amato, M. C. Borgia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous cases of pulmonary hypertension (PH) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection have been reported in the literature. The role of HIV in PH is still debatable. The purpose of this report was to analyze whether HIV plays a direct or indirect role in PH pathogenesis. Between February and November 1997, 56 HIV-infected patients with cardiac symptoms and signs were studied by serial color Doppler echocardiography. In four patients (7.1%), PH not related to other well-known associated conditions, was disclosed. In spite of a low serum HIV RNA viral load and a high-efficacy antiretroviral therapy, including a protease inhibitor in two patients, PH developed and worsened. It could be hypothesized that in some patients with an individual immunogenetic predisposition, a high secretion of cytokines and endothelin-1 stimulated by an unidentified pathogen different from HIV could lead to PH. Antiretroviral therapy seems not to prevent or reduce right ventricle pressure gradient in PH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1011
Number of pages7
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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