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Body composition studies in patients with wasting associated with tuberculosis.

ABSTRACT

Wasting is a well-recognized manifestation of tuberculosis (TB), but little is known about the alterations in body composition that occur. Therefore, we measured regional and whole-body composition in patients with TB and wasting.Body composition was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry in 18 patients with newly diagnosed TB and wasting (10 coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]) and 22 controls (10 coinfected with HIV).Patients with TB and wasting had significantly lower body weight (48.6 versus 62.0 kg), lean body mass (39.6 versus 45.6 kg), and fat mass (6.2 versus 12.6 kg) than did controls. Patients with TB had significantly reduced lean tissue in the limbs (15.2 versus 19.1 kg) and trunk (21.3 versus 23.2 kg) and significantly higher trunk-to-limb lean ratio (1.41 versus 1.22) compared with controls. Patients with TB had significantly reduced fat in the limbs (3.4 versus 6.1 kg) and trunk (2.1 versus 5.7 kg) and significantly lower trunk-to-limb fat ratio (0.52 versus 0.92) compared with controls. Body composition measurements were no different in patients with and without HIV coinfection.Wasting in TB is associated with depletion of whole-body lean and fat tissue in approximately equal proportions overall, but lean tissue depletion is greater in the limbs and fat tissue depletion is greater in the trunk. HIV coinfection does not affect the magnitude or distribution of the body composition changes.