Objective. To evaluate the effect of megestrol acetate on weight gain and linear growth in human immunodeficiency virus-infected children with growth failure. Methods. All human immunodeficiency virus-infected children with growth failure treated with megestrol acetate at our institution were evaluated retrospectively. Weight, height, and weight:height ratio were documented from 6 months before initiation of megestrol acetate until 6 months after treatment was discontinued. Measurements were corrected for age and sex by conversion to z-scores. Incremental growth was determined before, during, and after treatment. The potential effects of CD4+ T-lymphocyte count and percentage, antiretroviral therapy, and intercurrent illnesses on growth were evaluated. Results. Nineteen patients were treated with a total of 27 courses of megestrol acetate. The median duration of therapy was 7 months (range, 3 to 11 months), and the median megestrol acetate dose was 7.91 mg/kg/day (range, 4.06 to 8.86 mg/kg/day). From 6 months and 3 months before treatment to the onset of therapy, median changes in weight z-scores were - .27 and -.15, respectively. During megestrol acetate treatment, median changes in weight z-scores were +.29 after 1 month of therapy, +.40 after 3 months, and +.57 after 6 months. After megestrol acetate therapy was discontinued, poor weight gain and weight loss resumed. Median 6-month growth velocities for weight were less than the 10th percentile before megestrol acetate, greater than the 97th percentile during treatment, and less than the 3rd percentile after treatment was discontinued. Megestrol acetate therapy was not associated with changes in linear growth. Antiretroviral therapy, CD4+ T-lymphocyte count or percentage, or intercurrent illnesses were not associated with statistically significant differences in response to megestrol acetate therapy. Conclusions. Megestrol acetate treatment of growth failure in pediatric human immunodeficiency virus disease is associated with weight gain, without affecting linear growth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health