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Drug that reduces abdominal fat in HIV patients also may reduce fat in liver
Date:7/19/2014

ant incidence of NAFLD in HIV-infected patients, the study's goals were broadened to focus on tesamorelin's ability to reduce fatty deposits in the liver as well as abdominal fat in general.

The study enrolled 48 adult patients who were receiving antiretroviral treatment for HIV and had developed excessive abdominal fat deposits. Participants were first randomized to receive daily injections of either tesamorelin or a placebo. In addition, since growth hormone treatment can lead to increased blood sugar levels and reduced insulin sensitivity, half of those in each group also had a procedure that analyzes insulin secretion and resistance at the study's outset and at assessment sessions conducted at three months and at the end of the six-month study. The assessments also included comprehensive measures of factors related to HIV infection, lipid and glucose metabolism, along with analysis of abdominal fat by CT scan and of liver fat by MR spectroscopy.

At the end of the study period, participants receiving tesamorelin had a significant, modestly sized decrease in liver fat along with the expected reduction in overall abdominal fat. Those receiving placebo treatment had increases in both measures. Although tesamorelin treatment did appear to have reduced insulin sensitivity and raised blood sugar levels at the three-month assessment, by six months both measures had returned to levels observed at the study's outset, implying that the drug's impact on glucose metabolism was only temporary.

"Tesamorelin's neutral long-term effects on insulin sensitivity and glucose are important, since HIV patients with abdominal fat accumulation may have underlying insulin resistance; so it's important to know that won't be worsened by this treatment," says Grinspoon, a professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Since we know that liver fat is associated with inflammation in the liver, reducing it may result in less inflammation. Indeed levels of
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Contact: Cassandra Aviles
cmaviles@partners.org
617-724-6433
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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