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Evaluation of glucose uptake by skeletal muscle tissue and subcutaneous fat in HIV-infected patients with and without lipodystrophy using FDG-PET

Sathekge, Mikea; Maes, Alexd e; Kgomo, Mboc; Stolz, Antonb; Ankrah, Alfreda; Van de Wiele, Christophef

Nuclear Medicine Communications: April 2010 - Volume 31 - Issue 4 - p 311-314
doi: 10.1097/MNM.0b013e3283359058
Original Articles

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.

Departments of aNuclear Medicine

bInfectious Diseases, University of Pretoria

cDepartment of Internal Medicine, Louis Pasteur Hospital, Pretoria, South Africa

dDepartment of Nuclear Medicine, AZ Groeninge, Kortrijk

eDepartment of Morphology and Medical Imaging, University Hospital Leuven, Leuven

fDepartment of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Ghent, Ghent, Belgium

Correspondence to Dr Mike Sathekge, MD, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Pretoria Academic Hospital, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X169, Pretoria 0001, South Africa

Tel: +27 123541794; fax: +27 123541219;


Received 5 June 2009 Revised 13 November 2009 Accepted 14 November 2009

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.