n Cardiovascular Journal of South Africa - Cardiac findings in children admitted to a hospital general ward in South Africa : a comparison of HIV-infected and uninfected children : cardiovascular topic

Volume 16, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1680-0745



The aim of this prospective observational study was to determine the presence of cardiac abnormalities in HIV-infected versus uninfected children who were admitted to a general paediatric ward during a two-month period. HIV status was determined by antibody and p24 antigen testing. Clinical information, echocardiography and electrocardiography (ECG) were performed for all children. There were 90 HIV-infected and 118 uninfected children. The median age was 9.6 and 11.8 months for infected and uninfected children, respectively. Baseline left ventricular dysfunction, defined as a shortening fraction &lt;u&gt;&lt;&lt;/u&gt; 25%, was found in 13 (17%) of the HIV-infected children compared to 5 (8%) uninfected children (p < 0.05). Left ventricular end-diastolic enlargement above the 98th percentile for age was found in 24% of the infected and 20% of uninfected children. Pericardial effusions, although common, were sub-clinical and not different in the groups. ECG findings and resting heart rates were also similar. Left ventricular dysfunction was the most significant cardiac abnormality present in hospitalised HIV-infected children. Other abnormalities, although common, were mostly asymptomatic and found with the same frequency in uninfected children. Further studies are indicated.

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