Introduction: Despite a great progress in antiretroviral therapy (ARV) there are many human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with lipodystrophy syndrome (LS). However, there are still no clearly defined criteria to diagnose dystrophic changes. It would be valuable to introduce a non-invasive and inexpensive method to clinical practice, which could objectify the assessment of LS in HIV-infected population. The aim was to determine usefulness of electrical bioimpedance in the diagnostics of lipodystrophy syndrome.
Material and methods: One hundred and ten HIV-infected patients, on antiretroviral therapy, were examined for the presence of LS. The control group included 42 healthy individuals. The study protocol included anthropometric measurements and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). The measurements of BIA were interpreted using specific computer software. All parameters were subjected to a comparative analysis between the study group and the control group.
Results: HIV-infected patients had significantly higher percentage values of fat-free mass (FFM), total body water (TBW) and muscle mass (MM) than the control group. Fat mass (FM) and percentage content of fat tissue (FM%) was significantly lower in the study group. A linear relationship of FM, percentage content of fat-free mass (FFM%), percentage content of total body water (TBW%) and percentage content of muscle mass (MM%) upon the severity of LS in HIV-positive patients has been demonstrated. The most significant changes were observed in patients with lipoatrophy who had the lowest absolute and percentage values of FM and the highest values of FFM%, MM% and TBW%.
Conclusions: The results support the potential usefulness of BIA as a non-invasive and low-cost diagnostic method for LS. Parameters such as FM%, FFM%, and TBW% can be used to assess the severity of lipodystrophy. However, these parameters require a larger study population and continuation of research.