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Metabolism. 1990 Nov;39(11):1186-90.

Increased resting energy expenditure in human immunodeficiency virus-infected men.

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Department of Endocrinology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Even in the absence of anorexia and malabsorption, weight loss is frequently observed in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or AIDS-related complex (ARC). To investigate whether increased resting energy expenditure (REE) might be responsible for this weight loss, indirect calorimetry was performed in 18 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected men free of clinically active opportunistic infections for at least 2 months. Patients with AIDS (n = 11) or ARC (n = 7) had 9% higher rates of REE when compared with 11 healthy volunteers (P less than .05) with similar food intake and of the same body composition. The results obtained from patients with AIDS or ARC were identical. As no differences were found between patients and controls in plasma concentrations of catecholamines, thyroid hormones, cortisol, or tumor necrosis factor, except for lower concentrations of norepinephrine in the patients (mean +/- SD, 233 +/- 111 v 367 +/- 125 ng/L, patients v controls, P less than .01), this hypermetabolism is not explained by higher levels of these catabolic hormones. The results indicate that even in the absence of acute concomitant infections, increased REE may contribute to the weight loss in patients with AIDS or ARC.

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