Tesamorelin for the treatment of excess abdominal fat in HIV-infected individuals with lipodystrophy

Author(s): G Guaraldi, C Stentarelli,J Faluz

Metabolic and morphologic abnormalities in persons with HIV remain common contributors to stigma and morbidity. Increased abdominal circumference and visceral adiposity were first recognized in the late 1990s, soon after the advent of effective combination antiretroviral therapy. Visceral adiposity is commonly associated with metabolic abnormalities including low HDL-cholesterol, raised triglycerides, insulin resistance and hypertension, a constellation of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus known as ‘the metabolic syndrome’. Medline and conference abstracts were searched to identify clinical research on factors associated with visceral adiposity and randomized studies of management approaches. Data were critically reviewed by physicians familiar with the field. A range of host and lifestyle factors, as well as antiretroviral drug choice, were associated with increased visceral adiposity. Management approaches included treatment switching. Supraphysiological doses of recombinant HGH and the hGHRH tesamorelin both significantly and selectively reduce visceral fat over 12–24 weeks; however, the benefits are only maintained if dosing is continued. In summary, the prevention and management of visceral adiposity remains a substantial challenge in clinical practice.