Disorders of body fat distribution in HIV-1-infected patients.

Moreno S, Miralles C, Negredo E, Domingo P, Estrada V, Gutierrez F, Lozano F, Martinez E.

AIDS Rev. 2009 Jul-Sep;11(3):126-34.

Body fat disorders are a common and relevant problem in HIV-1-infected patients that can be associated with metabolic alterations. Many controversies in their definition, pathogenesis, measurement, and management remain unclear. Several factors including HIV-1 infection itself and antiretroviral therapy have been associated with the development of these alterations. Most studies show that the action of drugs on the pathogenesis of lipoatrophy is undeniable. However, they also show that there are considerable differences not only between the different families of antiretroviral drugs, but also between the individual members of these families. The diagnosis of lipodystrophy is limited by the absence of an agreed definition and a reference for normality. Accurate diagnosis, especially in mild-moderate cases, is difficult, almost always subjective, not standardized, and cannot be carried out by a single method. In general, subjective evaluation by the physician and patient, together with simple techniques such as anthropometry, can provide highly valuable information, especially when used over time. Although there is no known therapy to completely reverse lipodystrophy once it becomes established, there is evidence that lipoatrophy can be partially improved by replacing thymidine analogs in certain cases. In addition, reparative surgery may prove useful in moderate or severe cases. Neither the interruption of antiretroviral therapy nor the use of metformin, glitazones or growth hormone analogs can be recommended due to their limited efficacy or associated complications.

PMID: 19654854

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.