Background. The pancreatic endocrine system normally guarantees a quick and efficient response to daily metabolic perturbations, but associated data for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients are lacking. A prospective study was performed to evaluate pancreatic endocrine secretion and its possible association with failure to thrive among HIV-infected children. Methods. Fourteen well-nourished, prepubertal, HIV-infected children (6 boys and 8 girls; age range, 5-11 years), none of whom were receiving protease inhibitors, and 16 clinically healthy sex- and age-matched children formed the patient group and the control group, respectively. At yearly follow-up examinations, insulin, glucagon, C-peptide, and glucose levels were measured; the ratio of insulin to glucose, the ratio of insulin to glucagon, and the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) index were calculated; the glucagon test was administered; and growth hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone, adrenocorticotropic hormone, cortisol, and lipid patterns were evaluated. Results. Insulin, glucagon, C-peptide, glucose, and HOMA measurements were significantly higher among patients, compared with control subjects, at all 3 follow-ups performed to date. The glucagon test revealed a normal glycemic response in all the healthy control subjects and a significantly impaired response in 11 patients. A significant correlation emerged between the ratio of insulin to glucagon and the growth velocity of HIV-infected children. Conclusion. To our knowledge, the present study provides the first evidence of altered pancreatic endocrine secretion and its association with growth failure among HIV-infected children.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health