Noncalcified coronary atherosclerotic plaque and immune activation in HIV-infected women

Kathleen V. Fitch, Suman Srinivasa, Suhny Abbara, Tricia H. Burdo, Kenneth C. Williams, Peace Eneh, Janet Lo, Steven K. Grinspoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

169 Scopus citations


Background. Little is known about coronary plaque in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women. Methods. Sixty HIV-infected and 30 non-HIV-infected women without symptoms or history of cardiovascular disease were recruited to assess coronary plaque with coronary computed tomographic angiography and immune activation. Data from 102 HIV-infected men and 41 non-HIV-infected male controls were compared. Results. HIV-infected women demonstrated significantly higher percentages of segments with noncalcified plaque (mean ± SD, 74% ± 28% vs 23% ± 39% compared to female control subjects; median [interquartile range], 75% [63%-100%] vs 0% [0%-56%]; P = .007) and more segments with noncalcified plaque (mean ± SD, 0.92 ± 1.48 vs 0.40 ± 1.44; median [interquartile range], 0 [0-2] vs 0 [0-0]; P = .04). Immune activation parameters, including soluble CD163 (sCD163; P = .006), CXCL10 (P = .002), and percentages of CD14+CD16+ monocytes (P = .008), were higher in HIV-infected women than in female control subjects, but no differences were seen in general inflammatory markers. Among HIV-infected women with noncalcified coronary plaque, sCD163 levels were significantly higher than in HIV-infected women without noncalcified plaque (P = .04). In multivariate modeling for sCD163 levels among male and female subjects, significant effects of HIV (P < .0001), age (P = .002), and sex (P = .0002) were seen. Conclusions. Young, asymptomatic, HIV-infected women, demonstrate increased noncalcified coronary plaque and increased immune activation, particularly monocyte activation. Independent effects of sex, HIV status, and aging on immune activation may contribute to cardiovascular disease in this population. Clinical Trials Registration. NCT00455793.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1737-1746
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


  • Age
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • HIV
  • Immune activation
  • Non-calcified coronary plaque

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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