BACKGROUND - D-Dimer elevations have been associated with a striking increase in mortality in HIV-infected patients. However, D-Dimer has not been directly linked to endothelial dysfunction in HIV.
METHODS - In this cross-sectional study, we used flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery to measure endothelial function and several biomarkers to measure systemic inflammation and coagulation activation in HIV-infected adults on stable antiretroviral therapy with HIV-1 RNA levels <400 copies/ml. Multivariable linear regression was used to model FMD by these markers, traditional cardiovascular risk factors and HIV-related characteristics.
RESULTS - Analysis included 98 subjects (88% male, median age 47.5 years, CD4(+) T-cells 578.5 cells/mm(3)); all on ART (52% on protease inhibitors). The only factors independently associated with FMD were D-Dimer and body mass index.
CONCLUSIONS - We show for the first time an independent association between D-Dimer and endothelial dysfunction in virologically suppressed, HIV-infected adults on stable antiretroviral therapy, potentially explaining the link between D-Dimer and mortality in HIV.