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Cirion Foundation

the impact of infectious diseases

HIV & vascular complications

Thanks to the introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in 1996 for the treatment of HIV, the prognosis for HIV-infected patients has improved dramatically. At the moment, however, we have to contend with the long-term complications resulting from both HIV infection and the use of ART. One such complication is an increased risk of vascular problems, including, for example, myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident, thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Earlier, less extensive epidemiological and pathophysiological studies pointed to this increased risk. To extend this research we initiated the HIV-cohort study in the Slotervaart Hospital at the end of 2005. This is a longitudinal, prospective, follow-up cohort study with a total duration of six years. The study covers both HAART-treated and untreated patients, who are subjected to laboratory testing on coagulation disorders on different occasions. We also investigate whether coagulation disorders are associated with other factors, such as HIV viral load, CD4 cell count or the use of HAART. Coagulation disorders are preferably linked to an increased incidence of vascular complications. Although the incidence of vascular complications is higher in our HIV cohort, the absolute number of patients is still too low to formulate any conclusions. Eefje Jong; Seminar at Johannesburg Witwatersrand University
A fruitful collaboration with Johannesburg General Hospital, South-Africa, was also initiated. In this hospital both the incidence of HIV and vascular complications is high. In January 2008 the HIV cohort study will also start in Johannesburg. The original study design will be extended by carrying out an ultrasound test on both legs of patients, at different times, to check for asymptomatic deep venous thrombosis, which is a common manifestation of a vascular complication. If HIV is really associated with coagulation disorders and an increased incidence of vascular complications, future prophylactic strategies might be necessary.

Eefje Jong; Seminar at Johannesburg Witwatersrand University

Presentation Longterm complication in HIV infection (pdf)


  • Studies on coagulation and inflammation markers and vascular complications in HIV. Collaboration between the Slotervaart Hospital (Internal Medicine, Pharmacy, Molecular Biology); Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam; St. Elisabeth Hospital, Willemstad, Curacao and Johannesburg General Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa.

    PhD candidates drs. Eefje Jong expected PhD 2009, drs. Rob ter Heine expected PhD 2009, Susan Louw (South Africa) expected PhD 2010.

Interview Eefje Jong Noordhollands dagblad 16 October 2010: