Ultrasonographic backscatter of the carotid artery wall in patients with HIV infection: A pilot study

Cristina Giannattasio, Monica Failla, Nicola Squillace, Alberto Dolara, Francesca Cesana, Francesca Sabbatini, Alessandra Bandera, Rita Facchetti, Dario Dozio, Andrea Gori, Giuseppe Mancia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims. The aim of our study was to measure carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) and risk factors associated with its development and progression, and to evaluate arterial wall characteristics through integrated backscatter analysis (IBS) in HIV patients. Methods. Perspective cohort study enrolling 44 HIV patients treated with antiretroviral drugs who underwent standard B Mode cIMT measurement and tissue characterization of carotid wall by means of dedicated software by acoustic densitometry, at time 0 and 2 years later. Major findings. Cross-sectional evaluation performed at baseline found that cIMT value correlated significantly with age (r = 0.42, p = 0.005) and systolic blood pressure (r = 0.31, p = 0.04). No correlation was found between cIMT and CD4, HIV-RNA, triglycerides or total cholesterol. There was no difference between the group with versus the group with no protease inhibitors treatment. cIMT progression during 2 years of observation was statistically significant (median, interquartile range [IQR]: 0.005, 0-0.031). No correlation was found between IBS and duration of disease and kind of therapy, whereas a significant association was found between cIMT and IBS (r = 0.33, p = 0.03). No noticeable changes of IBS were observed during 2 years observation. Conclusions. Classic risk factors greatly affect cIMT than time of HIV infection, duration of antiretroviral therapy exposure and use of protease inhibitors. IBS is a promising technique for the evaluation of arterial wall composition in HIV patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-350
Number of pages7
JournalBlood Pressure
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • Atherosclerosis
  • HIV
  • Intima-media thickness
  • Ultrasound backscatter analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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