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Statin effect on coronary calcium distribution, mass and volume scores and associations with immune activation among HIV+ persons on antiretroviral therapy

Jerry Lipinski, Seunghee Margevicius, Mark D Schluchter, David L Wilson, Grace A McComsey, Chris T Longenecker

Corresponding author name: Chris T Longenecker
Corresponding author e-mail: Chris.Longenecker@UHhospitals.org

Citation: Antiviral Therapy 2020; 25:419-424
doi: 10.3851/IMP3389

Date accepted: 15 October 2020
Date published online: 26 April 2021


Background: Inflammation has been associated with whole heart coronary artery calcification (CAC) among people with HIV (PWH) on antiretroviral therapy (ART); however, prior studies have not evaluated the distribution of calcium or separated mass versus volume scores, which are differentially associated with clinical events in the general population. Statins may also have a greater effect on CAC mass compared with volume.

Methods: 147 PWH were randomized 1:1 to rosuvastatin 10 mg or placebo and followed for 96 weeks. We re-analysed coronary calcium scans from 0, 48 and 96 weeks to determine mass and volume scores and measures of CAC diffusivity. Mixed effects models and generalized estimating equations were used to examine longitudinal associations of CAC with treatment and biomarkers.

Results: Median age at study entry was 46 years; 78% were male and 68% African American. Median CD4+ was 613 and half were on protease inhibitors. Randomization to statin therapy was not associated with a change in mass score, volume score, number of involved vessels or diffusivity index (all P>0.1). Soluble CD14 was associated with the presence of CAC (P=0.05) and borderline associated with number of involved vessels (P=0.07) across all three time points.

Conclusions: In PWH on ART, moderate intensity rosuvastatin does not appear to have a significant effect on volume, mass or regional distribution of CAC over 96 weeks. We extend previous cross-sectional observations to show that soluble CD14 is associated with whole heart CAC over time and independently of age and systolic blood pressure.


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