The life expectancy in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infected patients is increased after the introduction of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART). However, there is a growing concern of cardiovascular disease, in general and peripheral arterial disease (PAD), in particular in this population. A variety of atherogenic metabolic abnormalities including dyslipidemia, lipodystrophy and insulin resistance have been reported after the use of protease inhibitors (PI). Moreover, HIV causes direct injury to the arterial wall resulting in inflammation and atherosclerosis. This has led to the greater interest in detection of atherosclerosis by measuring carotid intimal thickening, endothelial dysfunction and coronary calcification.
PAD is a focal manifestation of atherosclerosis and is a predictor of cardiovascular outcomes. In the majority of cases, patients with PAD remain asymptomatic. Therefore, early diagnosis of PAD may provide an opportunity for physicians to identify and prevent cardiovascular events in high-risk patients.(Priyank Shah, The Prevalence of Peripheral Arterial Disease in HIV Patients).
Last date updated on September, 2014