Infection with the HIV virus affects not only the human immune system; organ systems, including the cardiovascular system, are also repeatedly affected. The introduction of new therapeutic concepts for the treatment of HIV infection in recent years made it possible to improve the immunological situation of the majority of HIV-positive patients on a sustained basis. Despite a lack of knowledge of long-term effects, the new treatments are widely used in the western industrialized countries.
However, the range of side effects of anti-retroviral therapy is expected to result in an increase in heart disease. It is not clear whether diseases such as dilated cardiomyopathy will play a lifetime-limiting role in this patient group in the coming years. Up to now, there has not been any reliable data available in Germany or internationally on HIV-associated cardiomyopathy and its causes.
The goal of the subproject „Congestive Heart Failure in HIV-infected Patients“ is the recording of the incidence of dilated cardiomyopathy in patients infected with HIV, taking into account gender, the stage of HIV infection and anti-retroviral therapy.
In addition to the incidence of HIV-associated cardiomyopathy, the present research project will collect information about the pathological mechanisms and the course of the disease. From these data, evidence for the incidence and prognosis of HIV-associated cardiomyopathy can be derived which can contribute to early detection and development of preventive measures.
About 10% of HIV-infected subjects in Germany exhibit cardiovascular disease. This will impact on increasing morbidity rates especially amongst HIV patients at higher age in the years to come.
Based on the original protocol of the subproject 9b a large long-term follow-up program for this under-investigated group of patients could be established. The thus obtained unique data pool is open for collaborative research with academic and industrial partners.
PD Dr. Till Neumann
Klinik für Kardiologie
Phone: +49 (0)201 7234866