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Whole-body DXA evaluation in HIV patients


After the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy for the treatment of HIV infection, metabolic abnormalities were increasingly observed, associated with both protease inhibitors and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, characterized by abnormal fat distribution in the body (lipoatrophy, lipohypertrophy or both), hyperglycemia and lean tissue mass wasting. However such metabolic changes are not always treatment related, having a multifactorial etiology. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) evaluates the quantity of body fat and lean tissue and their distribution, allowing the diagnosis of both quantitative and qualitative changes.


We evaluated 58 patients (26 females and 33 males), aged between 19 and 65 years, by whole body DXA scan. Biological tests on the patients included: leptin, adiponectin, resistin, TNFa, IL6, LT CD4+, viral load. Body mass index, waist/hip ratio and waist/height ratio were also calculated.


We obtained significant correlations between the DXA data and the biological, clinical parameters, type and duration of the treatment.


DXA represent an essential tool in evaluation of HIV lipodystrophy and wasting syndrome and can be used for both treatment monitoring and disease metabolic evaluation of HIV patients.


The study was funded by the National Authority for Scientific Research (Grant No. 62077/2008, 2008–2011). Coordinating center: National Institute for Infectious Diseases Prof. Dr. Matei Balş, Bucharest, Romania.

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Correspondence to Mihai Lazăr.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Lazăr, M., Munteanu, D., Mihăilescu, R. et al. Whole-body DXA evaluation in HIV patients. BMC Infect Dis 14 (Suppl 7), O4 (2014).

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