Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation Is Associated With Decreased Visceral and Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Density in People Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Paula Debroy, Jordan E. Lake, Carlee Moser, Maxine Olefsky, Kristine M. Erlandson, Ann Scherzinger, James H. Stein, Judith S. Currier, Todd T. Brown, Grace A. McComsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Adipose tissue (AT) alterations are common in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLWH). Decreases in AT density suggest disrupted adipocyte function/hypertrophy. We assessed changes in AT density after antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation and associations with immunometabolic parameters. METHODS: In a prospective randomized clinical trial of ART initiation, L4-L5 abdominal CT scans measured subcutaneous AT (SAT) and visceral AT (VAT) area and density in treatment-naive PLWH randomized to tenofovir-emtricitabine plus ritonavir-boosted atazanavir, ritonavir-boosted darunavir, or raltegravir. Linear regression models compared week 0 and week 96 levels, and 96-week changes, in SAT and VAT density (in Hounsfield units [HU]). Spearman correlations assessed relationships between AT density and immunometabolic parameters. RESULTS: Of the 228 participants, 89% were male and 44% were white non-Hispanic. Median age was 36 years, baseline HIV-1 RNA was 4.6 log10 copies/mL, and CD4+ T-cell count was 344 cells/μL. Over 96 weeks, SAT and VAT HU decreased significantly in all arms. Less dense week 96 SAT and VAT density correlated with higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and adiponectin (r = 0.19-0.30) levels and lower interleukin 6, non-HDL cholesterol, triglyceride, leptin, and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (r = -0.23 to -0.68) levels at week 96 after adjusting for baseline CD4+ T-cell count, HIV-1 RNA, and baseline AT area. CONCLUSIONS: Following virologic suppression, lower SAT and VAT density was associated with greater plasma measures of systemic inflammation, lipid disturbances, and insulin resistance independent of AT area, suggesting that changes in AT density with ART may lead to adverse health outcomes independent of AT quantity. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION: NCT00851799.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-986
Number of pages8
JournalClinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
Volume72
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2021

Keywords

  • antiretroviral therapy
  • fat density
  • fat gain
  • HIV
  • inflammatory biomarkers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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