Publications by authors named "Maria Alvarez-Fuente"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Association of the dysfunctional placentation endotype of prematurity with bronchopulmonary dysplasia: a systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression.

Thorax 2021 Jul 23. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Pediatrics, Maastricht University Medical Centre, School for Oncology and Developmental Biology (GROW), Maastricht, The Netherlands

Background: Antenatal pathological conditions are key in the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Pathophysiological pathways or endotypes leading to prematurity and perinatal lung injury can be clustered into two groups: infection and dysfunctional placentation, which include hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). We conducted a systematic review of observational studies exploring the association between the dysfunctional placentation endotype and BPD.

Methods: MEDLINE, Embase and Web of Science databases were searched up to February 2020 for studies reporting data on the diagnosis of HDP, IUGR or small for gestational age (SGA) and BPD risk. BPD was classified as BPD28 (supplemental oxygen on day 28), BPD36 (oxygen at 36 weeks postmenstrual age), severe BPD (≥ 30% oxygen or mechanical ventilation), BPD36/death and BPD-associated pulmonary hypertension.

Results: Of 6319 studies screened, 211 (347 963 infants) were included. Meta-analysis showed an association between SGA/IUGR and BPD36 (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.37 to 1.79), severe BPD (OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.36 to 2.29) and BPD/death (OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.55 to 2.37). Exposure to HDP was not associated with BPD but was associated with decreased odds of BPD/death (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.94). Both HDP (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.80) and SGA/IUGR (OR 2.37, 95% CI 1.86 to 3.02) were associated with BPD-associated pulmonary hypertension.

Conclusion: When placental vascular dysfunction is accompanied by fetal growth restriction or being born SGA, it is associated with an increased risk of developing BPD and pulmonary hypertension. The placental dysfunction endotype of prematurity is strongly associated with the vascular phenotype of BPD.

Prospero Registration Number: Review protocol was registered in PROSPERO database (ID=CRD42018086877).
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July 2021

Implantable LENUS pro pump for treprostinil infusion in three pediatric patients.

Pediatr Pulmonol 2020 05 9;55(5):1254-1258. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Ramon y Cajal Hospital, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Prostanoid treatment in patients with severe pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) has been proven safe and effective. Subcutaneous administration of treprostinil has side effects, which limits their use and acceptance. An implantable pump for continuous intravenous treprostinil infusion has been recently approved. We describe our experience with the implantable pump in three pediatric patients.

Description Of Cases: The LENUS pro pump was implanted in three adolescents with severe PAH, who were treated with tadalafil, ambrisentan, and subcutaneous treprostinil. The indication of the Lenus pro pump implantation was the local side effects of subcutaneous treprostinil (pain, inflammation, and local infection) that were not well tolerated and that severely decreased their quality of life. The pump was surgically implanted under general anesthesia.One patient, in functional class IV, suffered postoperative hemodynamic instability and small pneumothorax,  requiring an increase in treprostinil dose up to 85 ng/kg/min and a decrease 9 days after the pump implantation. The second patient who was discharged 4 days after surgery with treprostinil at 60 ng/kg/min reported improvement in his quality of life, but the dose requirement increased up to 92 ng/kg/min. After a 21-month follow-up, this patient received a lung transplant. The third patient presented a hematoma at the pump site with no other complications and had a follow-up of 9 months with an improvement in her quality of life.

Comments: Implantable pumps for continuous parenteral prostanoid infusion in pediatric patients are an alternative to external pumps, especially when familiar psychological or psychomotor issues hinder the use of external pumps.
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May 2020

Fontan protein-losing enteropathy is associated with advanced liver disease and a proinflammatory intestinal and systemic state.

Liver Int 2020 03 22;40(3):638-645. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, University of Alcala, Madrid, Spain.

Background And Aims: Protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) after Fontan surgery carries significant morbimortality. Its pathophysiology and association with other Fontan complications are poorly understood. Our aims were to examine whether Fontan-PLE is associated with greater liver damage and to assess the presence of systemic and intestinal inflammation.

Methods: Fontan patients with PLE and Fontan controls without PLE matched for age and Fontan surgery procedure were included. Data were prospectively compiled on blood and stool tests, liver imaging, elastography, cardiac-MRI and cardiac catheterization.

Results: Twenty-nine Fontan patients were enrolled (14 with PLE and 15 controls without PLE). Patients with PLE had more advanced liver disease estimated by non-invasive methods: blunt liver margins on ultrasonography (71.4% vs 26.7%, P = .027), greater median liver stiffness (25.4 vs 14.5 kPa, P = .003) and higher FIB-4 (P = .016). Portal hypertension-related signs were more common in patients with PLE including ascites (P = .035), larger spleen size (P = .005), oesophageal varices/splanchnic collateral shunts (P = .03), higher liver stiffness-spleen size-to-platelet ratio risk score (P < .001) and lower platelet count (P = .01). Systemic proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, interleukin-6), biomarkers of intestinal permeability (intestinal fatty-acid binding protein) and faecal calprotectin concentrations were also significantly increased in Fontan-PLE (P < .05). Faecal calprotectin directly correlated with alpha-1 antitrypsin clearance and inversely with cardiac index, total serum proteins and body mass index.

Conclusion: Fontan-PLE is associated with advanced liver disease and increased markers of systemic inflammation and intestinal permeability. Faecal calprotectin is elevated and correlates with Fontan-PLE severity. Liver assessment is mandatory in all Fontan patients, and especially in those with PLE.
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March 2020

Association of Chorioamnionitis With Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Among Preterm Infants: A Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Metaregression.

JAMA Netw Open 2019 11 1;2(11):e1914611. Epub 2019 Nov 1.

Department of Pediatrics, School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Importance: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a chronic lung disease of prematurity, remains one of the major and most common complications of very preterm birth. Insight into factors associated with the pathogenesis of BPD is key to improving its prevention and treatment.

Objective: To perform a systematic review, meta-analysis, and metaregression of clinical studies exploring the association between chorioamnionitis (CA) and BPD in preterm infants.

Data Sources: PubMed and Embase were searched without language restriction (last search, October 1, 2018). Key search terms included bronchopulmonary dysplasia, chorioamnionitis, and risk factors.

Study Selection: Included studies were peer-reviewed studies examining preterm (<37 weeks' gestation) or very low-birth-weight (<1500 g) infants and reporting primary data that could be used to measure the association between exposure to CA and the development of BPD.

Data Extraction And Synthesis: The Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) guideline was followed. Data were independently extracted by 2 researchers. A random-effects model was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs. Heterogeneity in effect size across studies was studied using multivariate, random-effects metaregression analysis.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcome was BPD, defined as supplemental oxygen requirement on postnatal day 28 (BPD28) or at the postmenstrual age of 36 weeks (BPD36). Covariates considered as potential confounders included differences between CA-exposed and CA-unexposed infants in gestational age, rates of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), exposure to antenatal corticosteroids, and rates of early- and late-onset sepsis.

Results: A total of 3170 potentially relevant studies were found, of which 158 met the inclusion criteria (244 096 preterm infants, 20 971 CA cases, and 24 335 BPD cases). Meta-analysis showed that CA exposure was significantly associated with BPD28 (65 studies; OR, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.88-2.86; P < .001; heterogeneity: I2 = 84%; P < .001) and BPD36 (108 studies; OR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.17-1.42; P < .001; heterogeneity: I2 = 63%; P < .001). The association between CA and BPD remained significant for both clinical and histologic CA. In addition, significant differences were found between CA-exposed and CA-unexposed infants in gestational age, birth weight, odds of being small for gestational age, exposure to antenatal corticosteroids, and early- and late-onset sepsis. Chorioamnionitis was not significantly associated with RDS (48 studies; OR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.92-1.34; P = .24; heterogeneity: I2 = 90%; P < .001), but multivariate metaregression analysis with backward elimination revealed that a model combining the difference in gestational age and the odds of RDS was associated with 64% of the variance in the association between CA and BPD36 across studies.

Conclusions And Relevance: The results of this study confirm that among preterm infants, exposure to CA is associated with a higher risk of developing BPD, but this association may be modulated by gestational age and risk of RDS.
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November 2019

Exploring clinical, echocardiographic and molecular biomarkers to predict bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

PLoS One 2019 6;14(3):e0213210. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

Pediatric Cardiology Department, Ramón y Cajal University Hospital, Madrid, Spain.

Introduction: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most common chronic lung disease in childhood, related to prematurity, and the most common cause of pulmonary hypertension (PH) secondary to pulmonary disease in children. Moderate and severe BPD have a worse outcome and relate more frequently with PH. The prediction of moderate or severe BPD development in extremely premature newborns is vital to implement preventive strategies. Starting with the hypothesis that molecular biomarkers were better than clinical and echocardiographic factors, this study aims to explore the ability of clinical, echocardiographic and analytical variables to predict moderate or severe BPD in a cohort of extremely preterm infants.

Patients And Methods: We designed a prospective longitudinal study, in which we followed a cohort of preterm newborns (gestational age <28 weeks and weight ≤ 1250 grams). In these newborns we recorded weekly clinical and echocardiographic variables as well as blood and tracheal aspirate samples, to analyze molecular biomarkers (IL-6, IL-1, IP10, uric acid, HGF, endothelin-1, VEGF, CCL5). Variables and samples were collected since birth up to week 36 (postmenstrual age), time-point at which the diagnosis of BPD is established.

Results: We included 50 patients with a median gestational age of 26 weeks (IQR 25-27) and weight of 871 g (SD 161,0) (range 590-1200g). Three patients were excluded due to an early death. Thirty-five patients (74.5%) developed BPD (mild n = 14, moderate n = 15, severe n = 6). We performed a logistic regression in order to identify risk factors for moderate or severe BPD. We compared two predictive models, one with two variables (mechanical ventilation and inter-ventricular septum flattening), and another-one with an additional molecular biomarker (ET-1).

Conclusions: The combination of clinical and echocardiographic variables is a valuable tool for determining the risk of BPD. We find the two variable model (mechanical ventilation and echocardiographic signs of PH) more practical for clinical and research purposes. Future research on BPD prediction should be oriented to explore the potential role of ET-1.
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December 2019

Mid-Term Valve-Related Outcomes After Transcatheter Tricuspid Valve-in-Valve or Valve-in-Ring Replacement.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2019 01;73(2):148-157

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Background: Transcatheter aortic and pulmonary valves have been used to treat stenosis or regurgitation after prior surgical tricuspid valve (TV) replacement or repair. Little is known about intermediate-term valve-related outcomes after transcatheter tricuspid valve replacement (TTVR), including valve function, thrombus, and endocarditis.

Objectives: The authors sought to evaluate mid-term outcomes in a large cohort of patients who underwent TTVR after surgical TV repair or replacement, with a focus on valve-related outcomes.

Methods: Patients who underwent TTVR after prior surgical TV replacement or repair were collected through an international registry. Time-related outcomes were modeled and risk factors assessed.

Results: Data were collected for 306 patients who underwent TTVR from 2008 through 2017 at 80 centers; 52 patients (17%) had a prior history of endocarditis. Patients were followed for a median of 15.9 months after implantation (0.1 to 90 months), with 64% of patients estimated to be alive without TV reintervention or a valve-related event at 3 years. The cumulative 3-year incidence of death, reintervention, and valve-related adverse outcomes (endocarditis, thrombosis, or significant dysfunction) were 17%, 12%, and 8%, respectively. Endocarditis was diagnosed in 8 patients 2 to 29 months after TTVR, for an annualized incidence rate of 1.5% per patient-year (95% confidence interval: 0.45% to 2.5%). An additional 8 patients were diagnosed with clinically relevant valve thrombosis, 3 in the short term, 2 within 2 months, and 3 beyond 6 months. Only 2 of these 8 patients received anticoagulant therapy before thrombus detection (p = 0.13 vs. patients without thrombus). Prior endocarditis was not a risk factor for reintervention, endocarditis, or valve thrombosis, and there was no difference in valve-related outcomes according to TTVR valve type.

Conclusions: TV dysfunction, endocarditis, and leaflet thrombosis were uncommon after TTVR. Patients with prior endocarditis were not at higher risk for endocarditis or other adverse outcomes after TTVR, and endocarditis occurred with similar frequency in different valve types. Though rare, leaflet thrombosis is an important adverse outcome, and further study is necessary to determine the appropriate level of prophylactic therapy after TTVR.
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January 2019

Preventing bronchopulmonary dysplasia: new tools for an old challenge.

Pediatr Res 2019 03 21;85(4):432-441. Epub 2018 Nov 21.

Pediatric Cardiology Department, Ramón y Cajal University Hospital, Madrid, Spain.

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most prevalent chronic lung disease in infants and presents as a consequence of preterm birth. Due to the lack of effective preventive and treatment strategies, BPD currently represents a major therapeutic challenge that requires continued research efforts at the basic, translational, and clinical levels. However, not all very low birth weight premature babies develop BPD, which suggests that in addition to known gestational age and intrauterine and extrauterine risk factors, other unknown factors must be involved in this disease's development. One of the main goals in BPD research is the early prediction of very low birth weight infants who are at risk of developing BPD in order to initiate the adequate preventive strategies. Other benefits of determining the risk of BPD include providing prognostic information and stratifying infants for clinical trial enrollment. In this article, we describe new opportunities to address BPD's complex pathophysiology by identifying prognostic biomarkers and develop novel, complex in vitro human lung models in order to develop effective therapies. These therapies for protecting the immature lung from injury can be developed by taking advantage of recent scientific progress in -omics, 3D organoids, and regenerative medicine.
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March 2019

Off-label mesenchymal stromal cell treatment in two infants with severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia: clinical course and biomarkers profile.

Cytotherapy 2018 11 14;20(11):1337-1344. Epub 2018 Oct 14.

Pediatric Cardiology Department, Ramón y Cajal University Hospital, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

Background: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most prevalent sequelae of premature birth, for which therapeutic options are currently limited. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are a potential therapy for prevention or reversal of BPD.

Series Of Cases: We report on two infants with severe BPD in whom off-label treatment with repeated intravenous doses of allogeneic bone marrow-derived MSCs were administered. We analyzed the temporal profile of serum and tracheal cytokines and growth factors as well as safety, tolerability and clinical response. The administration of repeated intravenous doses of MSCs in two human babies with severe and advanced BPD was feasible and safe and was associated with a decrease of pro-inflammatory molecules and lung injury biomarkers. Both patients were at very advanced stages of BPD with very severe lung fibrosis and did not survive the disease.

Conclusions: MSCs are a promising therapy for BPD, but they should be administered in early stages of the disease.
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November 2018

Percutaneous Treatment of Follow-up Lesions After Atrial Switch in Patients With Transposition of the Great Arteries.

Rev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed) 2018 Oct 13;71(10):875-876. Epub 2017 Oct 13.

Servicio de Cardiología Pediátrica y Cardiopatías Congénitas, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain.

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October 2018

The economic impact of prematurity and bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

Eur J Pediatr 2017 Dec 9;176(12):1587-1593. Epub 2017 Sep 9.

Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Carrtera de Colmenar Viejo Km 9.1, 28034, Madrid, Spain.

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is one of the most serious chronic lung diseases in infancy and one of the most important sequels of premature birth (prevalence of 15-50%). Our objective was to estimate the cost of BPD of one preterm baby, with no other major prematurity-related complications, during the first 2 years of life in Spain. Data from the Spanish Ministry of Health regarding costs of diagnosis-related group of preterm birth, hospital admissions and visits, palivizumab administration, and oxygen therapy in the year 2013 were analyzed. In 2013, 2628 preterm babies were born with a weight under 1500 g; 50.9% were males. The need for respiratory support was 2.5% needed only oxygen therapy, 39.5% required conventional mechanical ventilation, and 14.9% required high-frequency ventilation. The incidence of BPD was of 34.9%. The cost of the first 2 years of life of a preterm baby with BPD and no other major prematurity-related complications ranged between 45,049.81 € and 118,760.43 €, in Spain, depending on birth weight and gestational age. If the baby required home oxygen therapy or developed pulmonary hypertension, this cost could add up to 181,742.43 €.

Conclusion: Prematurity and BPD have an elevated cost, even for public health care systems. This cost will probably increase in the coming years if the incidence and survival of preterm babies keeps rising. The development of new therapies and preventive strategies to decrease the incidence of BPD and other morbidities associated with prematurity should be a priority. What is known: • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a serious chronic lung disease related with premature birth. • BPD is an increasing disease due to the up-rise in the number of premature births. What is new: • The economic cost of preterm birth and BPD has never before been estimated in Spain nor published with European data. • Preterm babies with BPD and a good clinical outcome carry also an important economic and social burden.
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December 2017

Edwards valve-in-valve implantation in tricuspid position.

Cardiol Young 2017 Oct 16;27(8):1633-1636. Epub 2017 May 16.

1Pediatric Cardiology Department,Hospital Ramón y Cajal,Madrid,Spain.

We present two cases of percutaneous Sapien XT valve-in-valve implantation in the tricuspid position: a 20-year-old man with severe congenital pulmonary stenosis and percutaneous valvuloplasty, who required surgical implantation of two protheses, pulmonary and tricuspid, and a 12-year-old boy with CHD and a degenerated tricuspid prosthesis. We implanted three Sapien XT valve-in-valves, two in the tricuspid position and one in the pulmonic position. Sapien XT valve-in-valve implantation in the tricuspid position is feasible and can decrease the number of surgeries in CHD patients.
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October 2017

Cardiac function in vertically HIV-infected children and adolescents in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy.

Pediatr Infect Dis J 2015 May;34(5):e125-31

From the *Laboratorio de Inmunobiología Molecular, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón; †Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Gregorio Marañón; ‡Unidad de Cardiología Infantil, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón; §Imaging in Experimental Cardiology Laboratory, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III; ¶Unidad de Inmunodeficiencias, Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital Universitario Doce de Octubre; ‖Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital Universitario La Paz; **Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital de Getafe; ††Unidad de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón; ‡‡Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital Universitario Niño Jesús; and §§Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital Carlos III and Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital La Paz, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Previous studies have demonstrated increased risk of adverse cardiac outcomes in adults with HIV infection. However, few studies have addressed this problem in vertically HIV-infected children and adolescents, and the long-term cardiac health of this unique population in the antiretroviral therapy era is still unknown.

Methods: Ventricular function was evaluated cross-sectionally in a group of HIV-infected children and adolescents and healthy controls, using conventional echocardiography along with tissue Doppler imaging and strain analysis by speckle tracking. Simultaneously, measurements of carotid intima-media thickness were performed.

Results: A total of 64 cases and 58 controls were included, mean age was 13.6 ± 5.4 years and 64% were females. All but 2 patients were on antiretroviral treatment, and 64% had undetectable viral load. HIV-infected patients showed higher intima-media thickness (0.425 ± 0.019 vs. 0.415 ± 0.019 mm, P = 0.003). Statistically significant differences were found between groups in ejection fraction and fractional shortening (66.1% and 36.2% in the HIV-infected group vs. 71.5% and 40.8% in the control group, respectively, P = 0.001), although individual values fell within or near normal ranges. There were no significant differences in diastolic function, tissue Doppler imaging or cardiac strain (longitudinal and rotational) between both groups. No associations were identified between echocardiographic parameters and current CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts, CD4+ T-lymphocyte nadir, HIV viral load, duration or type of antiretroviral treatment regimens.

Conclusions: In a context of highly effective antiretroviral treatment, no differences were found regarding cardiac abnormalities using conventional and advanced ultrasound imaging techniques in this cohort of vertically HIV-infected children and adolescents, when compared with healthy controls.
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May 2015

Practical approach to screen vesicoureteral reflux after a first urinary tract infection.

Indian J Urol 2014 Oct;30(4):383-6

Department of Pediatrics, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain.

Introduction: Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) is a common pediatric urologic disorder. After the first urinary tract infection (UTI), imaging studies are recommended, starting with a renal ultrasound (RUS). Voiding cystourethrography (VCUG) and dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) scan are the other main radiologic studies used to detect VUR. We evaluated the use of RUS as a screening method for VUR in children below 2 years of age, in order to avoid unnecessary VCUG.

Materials And Methods: Medical records and imaging studies of infants (<2 years) who had their first UTI in a 6 year period were retrospectively reviewed. We evaluated the sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive values of RUS and DMSA for diagnosing VUR.

Results: Among 155 children (51% males) with their first UTI, 148 RUS were performed, 128 VCUG and 29 DMSA. VUR was detected in 21% patients; 14.5% low grade and 6.5% high grade. One hundred and twenty-one patients underwent both RUS and VCUG, 101 RUS were normal and 20 abnormal. Of the normal RUS 98% had no or low grade VUR. Among those with an abnormality on RUS 30% had high grade VUR (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: After the first UTI in infants (<2 years) RUS is a good screening method for VUR. Among such shildren with a normal RUS, we do not recommend VCUG or DMSA. In our opinion, VCUG should be performed only in patients with abnormal findings in RUS or in recurrent UTI.
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October 2014

Cardiovascular biomarkers in vertically HIV-infected children without metabolic abnormalities.

Atherosclerosis 2014 Apr 23;233(2):410-414. Epub 2014 Jan 23.

Laboratorio de InmunoBiología Molecular, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Hospital Gregorio Marañón (IISHGM), C/ Dr Esquerdo 46, 28007 Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

Early cardiovascular disease is a major concern for ART-suppressed vertically HIV-infected children; however, evidence is lacking regarding specific preventive measures. In this study, a complete panel of biomarkers was determined together with carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), in a cohort of 64 HIV-infected children and 30 controls. Mean age of participants was 14.1±5 years. HIV-infected patients showed normal lipid profile, with only slightly higher triglycerides, and no differences between groups were found regarding IMT. HIV-infected patients displayed higher levels of soluble CD14 (sCD14) and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM) (all p<0.05). However, levels of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, myeloperoxidase, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, P-selectin and tissue plasminogen activator were similar between groups. Vertically HIV-infected subjects on ART with no significant metabolic disturbances displayed increased sCD14 and sVCAM but not up-regulation of proinflammatory pathways. Larger studies are warranted to assess the impact of a strict metabolic control on cardiovascular risk and to define specific cardiovascular disease preventive strategies in this population.
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April 2014

Subclinical atherosclerosis and markers of immune activation in HIV-infected children and adolescents: the CaroVIH Study.

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2014 Jan;65(1):42-9

*Laboratorio de InmunoBiología Molecular, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón e Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; †Unidad de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; ‡Unidad de Cardiología Infantil, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; §Unidad de Inmunodeficiencias, Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital Universitario Doce de Octubre, Madrid, Spain; ‖Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid, Spain; ¶Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital de Getafe, Madrid, Spain; #Servicio de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, and IRYCIS, Madrid, Spain; **Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital Universitario Niño Jesús, Madrid, Spain; and ††Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.

Background: HIV-infected adults display increased cardiovascular disease, probably driven by inflammation and immune activation. These relationships have not been addressed in vertically HIV-infected children and adolescents, a population at very high risk for long-term non-AIDS complications.

Methods: Carotid intima media thickness (IMT) was measured in a cohort of HIV-infected children and adolescents and healthy controls. C-reactive protein and markers of immune activation (CD38⁺HLA-DR⁺) and immune senescence (CD28⁻CD57⁺) were determined.

Results: One hundred fifty HIV-infected patients and 150 controls were included, 64.8% female. IMT was thicker in HIV-infected patients (0.434 mm ± 0.025 vs. 0.424 mm ± 0.018, P < 0.001). After adjustment by age, sex, body mass index, and smoking status, HIV infection was independently associated with thicker IMT (odds ratio, 2.28; 95% confidence interval: 1.25 to 4.13; P = 0.007). Among HIV-related variables, a low CD4 nadir was related to an increased IMT. Although HIV-infected subjects presented higher frequencies of activated CD4⁺ and CD8⁺ T cells (P = 0.002 and P = 0.087, respectively), no relation was found between IMT and inflammation, immune activation, or senescence.

Conclusions: Structural changes of the vasculature present early in vertically HIV-infected subjects as well as immune activation and senescence. These patients should be carefully monitored for the prompt detection and early treatment of cardiovascular disease.
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January 2014