Protease inhibitor therapy improves growth parameters of HIV-infected children
Antiretroviral regimens that include a protease inhibitor (PI) improve the weight, weight/height ratio, and muscle mass of HIV-infected children, according to a report published Monday in the May issue of Pediatrics.
Dr. Tracie L. Miller, from the University of Rochester Medical Centre in New York, and colleagues evaluated growth parameter data from 67 HIV-infected children who began a PI-containing regimen between 1996 and 1999.
The children were followed a median of 2.4 years with a total of 362 visits. During this period, the median PI treatment duration was 5 months. The average patient age at the initial visit was 6.8 years, the authors state.
Regression analysis revealed that PI treatment had a significant beneficial effect on weight, weight/height ratio, and arm muscle circumference, the researchers note. A trend toward improvement in height was also noted, but PI therapy had no effect on triceps skin fold thickness. Separate analysis showed that PI therapy led to a twofold increase in CD4+ cell counts and a 79% reduction in HIV-1 RNA copies.
“Although we have documented positive gains in some parameters of growth, this should not diminish the importance of routine dietary assessment, supplementation, and teaching to maintain growth and support of the immune system,” the investigators emphasize.
Source: Reuters Health