Effects of metformin and rosiglitazone in HIV-infected patients with hyperinsulinemia and elevated waist/hip ratio

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Objective:To evaluate the effects of metformin and rosiglitazone, alone or in combination, on fat distribution, insulin sensitivity, and lipids in HIV-infected patients with insulin resistance and changes in fat distribution.Methods:A total of 105 subjects were randomly assigned to receive metformin (500 mg twice a day increasing to 1000 mg twice a day after 2 weeks) with rosiglitazone placebo (Met/P, N = 26); rosiglitazone (4 mg/day) with metformin placebo (Rosi/P, N = 27); rosiglitazone (4 mg/day) plus metformin (500 mg twice a day increasing to 1000 mg twice a day after 2 weeks; Met/Rosi, N = 25); or dual placebo (P/P, N = 27) for 16 weeks. Efficacy assessments included oral glucose tolerance testing, abdominal computed tomography, whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and the measurement of fasting lipids and other biochemical indices. Safety was monitored throughout. Intent-to-treat analyses were performed using non-parametric methods.Results:The median insulin area under the curve (AUC) decreased significantly compared with baseline in both groups randomly assigned to rosiglitazone (Rosi/P −25.7 μIU/ml, P = 0.012; Met/Rosi −17.7 μIU/ml, P = 0.002); and tended to decrease in the Met/P group (−11.1 μIU/ml, P = 0.058). The change in AUC with combination therapy was significant compared with placebo (P = 0.032). No treatment was associated with significant changes in visceral or subcutaneous abdominal fat. Leg fat increased in subjects on Rosi/P compared with placebo (+4.8 versus −8.3%, P = 0.034). Rosiglitazone, but not metformin, increased adiponectin but also increased LDL-cholesterol and decreased HDL-cholesterol. Gastrointestinal effects occurred frequently in subjects on metformin.Conclusion:Both treatments improved insulin sensitivity, but neither reduced visceral fat. Rosiglitazone may increase subcutaneous fat in some individuals.

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