June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Effects of HIV/AIDS and anti-retroviral treatment on retinal blood vessel diameters
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Patrick De Boever
    Vito, Mol, Belgium
    Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, State, Belgium
  • Frans Everson
    Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Tim S. Nawrot
    Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, State, Belgium
  • Faadiel Essop
    Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Harald Kessler
    Medical University Graz, Graz, Austria
  • Nyiko Machele
    Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Evelyn Stelzl
    Medical University Graz, Graz, Austria
  • Gerhard Walzl
    Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Ingrid Webster
    Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Corli Westercott
    Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Nandu Goswami
    Medical University Graz, Graz, Austria
  • Hans Strijdom
    Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Patrick De Boever, None; Frans Everson, None; Tim Nawrot, None; Faadiel Essop, None; Harald Kessler, None; Nyiko Machele, None; Evelyn Stelzl, None; Gerhard Walzl, None; Ingrid Webster, None; Corli Westercott, None; Nandu Goswami, None; Hans Strijdom, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Department of Science and Technology in South Africa (contract number DST/CON 0077/2014), the Belgian Science Policy in Belgium (contract number BL/67/eranet03), the Österreichische Agentur für internationale Mobilität und Kooperation in Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 2035. doi:
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      Patrick De Boever, Frans Everson, Tim S. Nawrot, Faadiel Essop, Harald Kessler, Nyiko Machele, Evelyn Stelzl, Gerhard Walzl, Ingrid Webster, Corli Westercott, Nandu Goswami, Hans Strijdom; Effects of HIV/AIDS and anti-retroviral treatment on retinal blood vessel diameters. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2035.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : HIV-infection and anti-retroviral treatment (ART) are associated with altered cardiovascular risk and changes in vascular structure and function. Fundus imaging is proposed to document microvascular changes. To this end, diameters of retinal vessels, sensitive proxies reflecting hypertension and atherosclerosis, are measured.

Methods : Adult participants are recruited in Cape Town and Worcester (South Africa). Participants are enrolled in the HIV-negative control group, the HIV-positive ART naïve group and the HIV-positive ART group. Baseline examination and a follow-up examination after 18 months are done. The examination consists of a health questionnaire, anthropometric measurements, cardiovascular measurements (flow-mediated dilatation, intima media thickness and retinal analysis), blood and urine chemistry. Here, we report the widths of retinal blood vessels, represented as the Central Retinal Arteriolar/Venular Equivalent (CRAE/CRVE), and the arteriovenous ratio (AVR).

Results : In December 2016, 134 individuals already enrolled, with 24, 28 and 82 individuals in the HIV-negative control group, the HIV-positive ART naïve group and the HIV-positive ART group, respectively. Average age was approximately 38 years. Population characteristics were not significantly different between the three groups, except for a significantly higher BMI (p<0.05) in the HIV-negative group. Blood pressure was significantly higher in the HIV-negative group (p<0.05). At baseline, CRVE was 236.6±23.9 µm, 249.7±28.5 µm and 231.8±21.8 µm for the HIV-negative control group, the HIV-positive ART naïve group and the HIV-positive ART group, respectively. CRVE was significantly higher in the ART naïve group compared to the ART positive group (p<0.05). CRAE values were not significantly different between the three groups. Linear regression models adjusted for age, gender, BMI, alcohol consumption, smoking and cardiovascular medication showed that HIV-infection was a borderline predictor of AVR (beta coefficient: 0.002; p=0.08) and that ART was a significant predictor of CRVE (beta: -19.6; P = 0.001) and AVR (beta: +0.05; p = 0.015).

Conclusions : Venular diameters were larger in the HIV-positive ART naïve group and this could be due to a higher inflammatory status compared to the ART positive group. The study is ongoing but baseline results show promise of retinal vessel analysis to document microvascular effects in individuals with HIV.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.

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