Effect of Pericardial Fat Volume and Density on Markers of Insulin Resistance and Inflammation in Patients With Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

      Treated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is characterized by ectopic fat deposition, a persistent inflammatory state, and increased cardiometabolic risk. In this secondary analysis of a placebo controlled trial of rosuvastatin among 147 HIV+ subjects (median age 46; 78% men) on stable antiretroviral therapy, we aimed to evaluate longitudinal associations between computed tomography (CT) measures of pericardial fat (PCF) volume and density, insulin resistance, and inflammation. We measured PCF volume and density (mean attenuation in Hounsfield units) by noncontrast gated CT at baseline and week 96. Homeostatic model of insulin resistance was calculated from fasting insulin and glucose at entry, 24, 48, and 96 weeks. At baseline, insulin resistance correlated positively with PCF volume and negatively with density. Similarly divergent correlations of volume and density were observed with waist:hip ratio, nadir CD4+ count, and duration of antiretroviral therapy. In a linear mixed model, PCF density was associated with insulin resistance independent of PCF volume, body mass index, metabolic syndrome, and biomarkers of immune activation and systemic inflammation; however, baseline PCF measures were not associated with longitudinal changes in insulin resistance. Soluble CD163, a marker of monocyte activation, positively correlated with PCF volume and was associated with insulin resistance in linear models. Statin treatment assignment did not affect PCF volume or density change (both p > 0.8). In conclusion, the quantity and quality (i.e., radiodensity) of PCF are differentially related to insulin resistance and inflammation in patients with treated HIV infection.
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