Objective This study was aimed to determine if glutathione (GSH) deficiency occurs in children with HIV infection and whether GSH deficiency is associated with HIV-related short stature. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study with two age-matched comparison groups in an inner city hospital-based pediatric AIDS/HIV outpatient clinic. Ten perinatally HIV-infected children aged 6 to 49 months with short stature (height-age percentile ≤5) were studied together with age-matched 10 HIV-infected children with normal height and 10 HIV-seronegative children with normal height. Total erythrocyte GSH (GSH and GSH disulfide) levels were determined by a modification of the 5,5′-dithiobis-2-nitrobenzoic acid glutathione disulfide reductase method. Other measures included complete blood counts, lymphocyte subset analysis, plasma albumin, cholesterol, vitamins A and E, and determination of HIV disease stage. Discussion Erythrocyte GSH levels were lower in HIV-infected children with short stature (mean ± standard deviation [SD]: 0.639 μmol/mL ± 0.189) compared with HIV-infected children with normal height (mean ± SD: 0.860 μmol/mL ± 0.358; p < 0.05) and HIV-negative controls (mean ± SD: 0.990 μmol/mL ± 0.343; p < 0.05). Plasma levels of cholesterol, albumin, and vitamins A and E did not differ between the short-stature group and either the HIV-infected normal-height group or HIV-negative controls. Conclusion These results demonstrate a GSH deficiency in HIV-infected children with short stature and support the hypothesis that GSH balance is important in growth among HIV-infected children.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Infectious Diseases