Knowledge and Attitudes of Canadian Cardiac Surgeons Regarding Patients With Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Karan Bami, Shrankhala Tewari, Paul A. MacPherson, Vicente F. Corrales-Medina, Subodh Verma, Bobby Yanagawa, Marc Ruel, Girish Dwivedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Current data on cardiac surgical practices for people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are lacking. We hypothesized that cardiac surgeons would consider people living with HIV as candidates for the full scope of cardiac surgery, including heart transplant for these patients. Methods: We conducted a prospective survey of 155 cardiac surgeons across Canada to evaluate their current clinical perceptions regarding cardiac surgery in people living with HIV. Specifically, we evaluated their assessment of eligibility toward a wide scope of cardiac surgeries by using representative clinical scenarios. Results: A total of 63 surgeon responses (40.6%) were completed. The majority of surgeons agreed that a 50-year-old man with HIV and no other comorbidities, who had been receiving combination antiretroviral therapy for 5 years with an undetectable viral load since starting therapy and a CD4 count greater than 350 cells/μL, would be a candidate for valve replacement (73%), valve repair surgery (74.6%), or coronary artery bypass graft surgery (79.4%). Few surgeons believed that this patient would be eligible for cardiac transplantation (7.9%) or could be a cardiac transplant donor (1.6%). There was clinical equipoise over the eligibility for ventricular assist device surgery. Conclusions: A majority of cardiac surgeons would perform coronary artery bypass graft surgery or valve surgery on patients with controlled HIV, but most consider HIV status as a prohibitive risk factor for cardiac transplantation. Although this may represent an opportunity for continuing medical education for cardiac surgeons, it also highlights the need for contemporary, high-quality evidence in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)945-950
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


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