Role of imaging in lipodystrophy that is associated with retroviral infection and anti-retroviral therapy

Authors: Kachewar SG, Sankaye SB


Purpose: With an increase in the number of retrovirus-affected individuals and a consequent increase in the number of patients on anti-retroviral therapy, more cases with lipodystrophy are being observed in these groups. This study therefore aims to investigate a non-invasive method for diagnosis of this phenomenon and to study the emerging trend of lipodystrophy.

Materials and Methods: 50 consecutive patients who attended the Antretroviral Therapy Clinic were questioned for the presence of any abnormal increase or decrease in the size of any of their body parts. If the answer was in affirmative, the patient was radiologically evaluated to ascertain the cause of this abnormality.

Results: All the cases of lipodystrophy could be satisfactorily diagnosed using plain radiography, ultrasound and computerised tomography scan. Out of the total 50 patients, 72% were males and 28% were females. Lipodystrophy was seen in 16.67% patients, out of which 13.89% were males and 5.56% were females. Lipodystrophy most commonly presented with mastomegaly (13.89%) and the most common site of atrophy was the thigh (5.56%).
Conclusions: With a rise in retrovirus-affected individuals and a subsequent rise in patients receiving anti-retroviral therapy, the number of patients presenting with lipodystrophy are on the rise. Judicial use of the available imaging modalities can adequately diagnose this relatively new entity. © 2013 Biomedical Imaging and Intervention Journal. All rights reserved.