Objective: To evaluate differences in glucose uptake by skeletal muscle tissue and subcutaneous fat in HIV patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) presenting with and without lipodystrophy as well as in drug-naive HIV patients using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography.
Patients and methods: Thirty-nine consecutive patients suffering from HIV: seven drug-naive patients, 21 nonlipodystrophic patients on HAART and 11 patients on HAART, respectively, suffering from lipodystrophy were prospectively included. All patients underwent a whole-body FDG positron emission tomography examination. Standardized uptake values (SUV values) of muscle and subcutaneous fat were compared and related to demographic and biochemical variables.
Results: SUV mean values of subcutaneous fat were significantly higher in patients under HAART presenting with lipodystrophy when compared with untreated and treated, nonlipodystrophic patients (P=0.000). SUV mean values of subcutaneous fat significantly correlated with treatment duration (r=0.56, P=0.000) and CD4 count (r=0.51, P=0.001) and inversely correlated with viral load (r=−0.61, P=0.000). Finally, SUV mean values of thigh muscles were not significantly different between the three different patient groups under study.
Conclusion: Quantitative FDG uptake by subcutaneous fat proved significantly higher in HIV patients under HAART presenting with lipodystrophy. HAART did not influence FDG uptake by human skeletal muscle tissue under basal conditions.