Alterations of fat distribution and insulin resistance are associated with increased risk of metabolic derangements and cardiovascular disease. HIV-infected adult patients on antiretroviral treatment often show lipodystrophy, insulin resistance and hypoadiponectinemia, but data in children are controversial. We investigated serum adiponectin concentration in a cohort of HIV-infected youths, and we assessed the relationships with lipodystrophy and insulin resistance. We studied 36 HIV-infected patients (aged 5.0 - 19.4 years), and 171 healthy subjects (aged 4.9 - 17.9 years) for adiponectin measurements. All patients underwent body composition assessment by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, and an oral glucose tolerance test to determine the fasting insulin concentration, the insulin area under the curve (AUC), and the HOMA index. Adiponectin serum concentration was measured by an immunoenzymatic assay. Sixteen patients had central fat accumulation, 6 had peripheral lipoatrophy, 5 had a mixed phenotype, and the remaining 9 were non-lipodystrophic. Fasting insulin, insulin AUC, and HOMA index were significantly higher in patients with central fat adiposity and mixed phenotype than in the other two groups. The patients of the former two groups had adiponectin concentration much lower than healthy controls, and patients with peripheral lipoatrophy or normal phenotype had normal concentration. Low adiponectin concentration is associated to central fat and mixed lipohypertrophy, and to signs of insulin resistance in HIV-infected youths. Strict monitoring of metabolic and cardiovascular evolution should be performed in these patients.
Keywords: Adiponectin, body composition, children, insulin-resistance, lipodystrophy, oral glucose tolerance test, HAART, Adipose tissue, controversial