Cerebrovascular Diseases in HIV-Infected Patients

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Cerebrovascular disease (CVD) has early been recognized in HIV-infected patients, including infectious arteritis, inflammatory vasculitis, aneurismal and small-vessel arteriopathy, to which adds now the premature atherosclerotic cerebral arteriopathy associated with the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)-induced metabolic disorders. As a result of the increased life-expectancy associated with HAART, HIV patients grow older and are exposed to the combined vascular risk of antiviral-induced metabolic changes and advancing age. Several studies have documented subclinical cervical artery atherosclerosis, as assessed by intima-media thickness, ultrasound detection of carotid artery plaques and intracerebral small-vessel disease, all being associated with the induced metabolic changes. This suggests that vascular prevention should be performed on a long-term basis.

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