Article Abstract

Cardiac anomalies in a group of HIV-infected children in a pediatric hospital: an echocardiographic study in Yaounde, Cameroon

Authors: David Chelo, Edvine Wawo, Valentin Siaha, Aurelien Anakeu, Francis Ateba Ndongo, Paul Olivier Koki Ndombo, Samuel Kingue


Background: Cardiac manifestations associated with the HIV infection are known adversely prognosis in adults and children, even at the infraclinical stage. Although cardiac complications of HIV infection are well described in adults, there are few reports in the paediatric age group. We performed echocardiography on a group of HIV-infected children in order to describe the spectrum of the anomalies associated with the HIV infection.
Methods: We carried out a cross-sectional descriptive study on a cohort of HIV—infected children followed-up in a children’s out-patient clinic. All had a thorough clinical evaluation and transthoracic echocardiography with Doppler flux analysis. The data collected were analyzed with SPPS 18.0, IBM, Chicago. Statistical significance was set at P value <0.05.
Results: One hundred children (52 males and 48 females) were studied. Their ages ranged from 1 to 15 years with a mean of 7 years. Forty four (44%) and 33 (33%) of the children were in World Health Organization (WHO) clinical stage III and IV respectively. Fifty seven (57%) did not have any significant immune depression. The mean age at diagnosis of HIV infection was 3 years. Ninety one percent of the participants were on highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART). At least one cardiac abnormality was found in 89% of the participants; right ventricular (RV) dilatation in 76%, LV diastolic dysfunction in 32%, LV hypertrophy in 12%, pericardial effusion in 11% and LV systolic dysfunction in 2%. These abnormalities were more prevalent in late stages of the infection.
Conclusions: Cardiac abnormalities are frequent in HIV-infected children, most of which remain asymptomatic. Routine echocardiography in HIV infected children will aid prompt diagnosis.