Objective: To determine the relationship between energy metabolism and growth abnormalities in HIV-infected children and to assess clinical or laboratory characteristics which may be contributing factors to their growth impairment.
Design: A comparative study.
Methods: We measured energy intake by inpatient calorie count/outpatient 24 h food recalls, resting energy expenditure by indirect calorimetry, total energy expenditure by the doubly-labeled water technique, iron metabolism, protein metabolism, and lipid metabolism markers as well as CD4 count, viral load, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), serum interleukin-6 (IL-6), and whole blood stimulated IL-6 levels in pre-pubertal congenitally HIV-infected children with normal and impaired growth patterns.
Results and conclusions: Differences in energy expenditures were not found between normal and growth-impaired HIV-infected children. Energy intake but not energy expenditure was significantly reduced when HIV-infected children were compared to expected normal values for age and gender. Advanced HIV clinical disease, severe immune suppression, increased viral burden, increased IL-6 activity, decreased total serum protein, and decreased IGF-1 levels were more likely to be found in HIV-infected children with growth impairment in comparison with HIV-infected children with normal growth.