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      Clinical and Echocardiographic Findings in HIV Patients with Pericardial Effusion

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          Background and Objectives: Pericardial effusion (PE) is frequently found in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but its clinical significance remains unclear. Our purpose was to study the manifestations of HIV-infected patients with PE and the coexistence of these manifestations with other echocardiographic abnormalities, compared with patients without PE. Methods: We reviewed 141 HIV-infected patients in whom echocardiographic study was performed. We studied their epidemiological, clinical, hematological, immunological, electrocardiographic (ECG) and echocardiographic characteristics and their in-hospital outcome. Results: Patients with PE (n = 55), compared with those without PE (n = 86), were more often clinical stage C and immunological stage 3, had left-ventricular dysfunction and right-ventricular dilatation more frequently, and had been diagnosed as HIV-positive for a longer time. Seven patients with moderate to severe PE developed cardiac tamponade. Compared with patients with small PE (n = 34), those with moderate to large PE (n = 21), had pericardial rub, ECG repolarization abnormalities consistent with pericarditis, immunological stage 3, left-ventricular dysfunction and right-ventricular dilatation more frequently. In 3 patients, cardiac tamponade disappeared after anti-tuberculous therapy; in 3 cases, pericardial drainage was performed (anti-tuberculous therapy was not attempted); 1 patient with cardiac tamponade was not drainaged because he was a terminal patient with an extensive lymphoma. Conclusions: PE in HIV-infected patients is associated with (1) advanced stages of infection, and (2) left-ventricular dysfunction and right-ventricular dilatation; (3) presence of pericardial rub and ECG alterations consistent with pericarditis suggests the existence of moderate to large PE.

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          Author and article information

          S. Karger AG
          19 November 2008
          : 88
          : 5
          : 397-400
          Department of Cardiology, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain
          177367 Cardiology 1997;88:397–400
          © 1997 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Page count
          Pages: 4
          General Cardiology


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