HIV lipodystrophy and its metabolic consequences: implications for clinical practice.

Department of Chemical Pathology, St. Thomas' Hospital, London, UK.
Current Medical Research and Opinion (Impact Factor: 2.37). 04/2008; 24(3):609-24. DOI: 10.1185/030079908X272742
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) around 1996 markedly reduced mortality and morbidity from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. As life expectancy has improved, the chronic complications of HIV and HAART have become increasingly relevant.
This article provides an overview of the HIV-associated lipodystrophy, its pathogenesis and its clinical consequences (based on a search strategy in PubMed including literature published to November 2007).
Lipodystrophy syndrome is characterized by abnormal fat distribution syndrome associated with metabolic disturbances and includes insulin resistance, deranged glucose and lipid metabolism. It is associated with increased risks of progression to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Robust diagnostic criteria are required for lipodystrophy, and subsequent prospective cohort studies and randomized controlled trials are then required to determine the etiology and prognosis of lipodystrophy, and to evaluate therapeutic interventions for this consequence of HAART. Therapies to improve insulin resistance have been tried but they are frequently ineffective, and are limited by potential toxicity in this population. Hence, current management options for HIV associated lipodystrophy are limited and are mostly based on avoidance of risk factors and switching of antiretroviral drugs.
As the '3 by 5 strategy' of providing HIV drugs to the developing world is implemented worldwide, the numbers of patients adhering to antiretroviral medicines is dramatically increasing. One must be aware that in reducing the burden of acute retroviral disease, the treatments proposed might lead to significant rates of metabolic complications and further exacerbation of the epidemic of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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