Clinical course of cardiomyopathy in HIV-infected patients with or without encephalopathy related to the myocardial expression of tumour necrosis factor-alpha and nitric oxide synthase.

Department of Emergency Medicine, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.
AIDS (Impact Factor: 6.41). 06/2000; 14(7):827-38.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To define whether the development of encephalopathy influences the clinical course of HIV-associated cardiomyopathy (HIV-DCM) in relation to the myocardial expression of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS).
Prospective study.
University hospitals and AIDS centres.
115 HIV-infected patients with echocardiographic diagnosis of HIV-associated cardiomyopathy (34 with encephalopathy and 81 without encephalopathy) were followed for a mean of 24 +/- 3.2 months. All patients underwent endomyocardial biopsy for determination of myocardial immunostaining intensity of TNF-alpha and iNOS. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients with encephalopathy was examined for the presence of viruses. Patients underwent clinical examination every 3 months and echocardiographic examination every 6 months. The intensity of TNF-alpha and iNOS immunostaining was also evaluated on postmortem cerebral tissue of patients who died of congestive heart failure (CHF).
A greater impairment of echocardiographic parameters was observed in patients with HIV-associated cardiomyopathy after development of encephalopathy. These parameters tended to worsen progressively during the follow-up period and were inversely correlated with HIV-1 viral load, CD4 cell count, mini mental status score and the intensity of myocardial and cerebral TNF-alpha and iNOS staining. CSF specimens were available in 29 patients with encephalopathy. HIV-1 sequences were detected in CSF of all these patients with cytomegalovirus sequences in two. The mortality rate for CHF was greater among patients with encephalopathy (73% versus 12%).
The development of encephalopathy has an adverse effect on the clinical course of HIV-associated cardiomyopathy. In the relationship between cardiomyopathy and encephalopathy, the activation of iNOS by TNF-alpha may have a significant pathogenetic role in HIV disease.

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