Background: HIV-associated adipose redistribution syndrome (HARS) is an HIV-associated disorder characterized by excess truncal fat, including visceral adipose tissue (VAT).
Methods: From baseline to week 12 in this randomized, double-blind, placebo (PL)-controlled, multicenter trial investigating effects of recombinant human growth hormone (r-hGH; Serostim; EMD Serono Inc., Rockland, MA) in patients with HARS, 325 received induction (4 mg/d of r-hGH) or PL. At week 12, patients who initially received induction were rerandomized to 2 mg of r-hGH on alternate days (maintenance) or PL to week 36. Patients who initially received PL later received 4 mg/d of r-hGH. Change in VAT was the primary outcome. Key secondary outcomes included changes in non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) and limb fat.
Results: At week 12, induction therapy resulted in decreased VAT (−32.6 vs. 0.5 cm2; P < 0.001), limb fat (−0.4 vs. 0.2 kg; P < 0.001), and non-HDL-C (−13.0 vs. −2.8 mg/dL; P = 0.023) compared with PL. On r-hGH induction-maintenance (baseline to week 36), patients sustained losses in VAT and trunk fat but not losses of subcutaneous fat in the abdomen or limbs. Also, non-HDL-C remained significantly decreased on r-hGH but not on PL maintenance.
Conclusions: In patients with HARS, r-hGH induction-maintenance therapy produces greater relative losses of VAT and trunk fat than of subcutaneous fat and also has beneficial effects on the lipid profile.