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Abstract #2536

Neurometabolic consequences of perinatal HIV infection and exposure are still observed in children at 11 years

Amy Graham1, Martha Holmes1, Francesca Little2, Els Dobbels3, Mark Cotton3, Barbara Laughton3, Andre van der Kouwe4,5, Ernesta Meintjes1,6, and Frances Robertson1,6

1Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, 2Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, 3Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa, 4A.A. Martinos Centre for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, United States, 5Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States, 6Cape Universities Body Imaging Center, University of Cape Town, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

HIV establishes reservoirs within the brain, causing damage despite individuals adhering to antiretroviral therapy. The long-term consequences of perinatal HIV infection and early treatment in children remain unclear. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy was carried out to assess the effects of HIV on neurodevelopment, at a metabolic level, comparing HIV-positive, HIV-exposed-uninfected (HEU) and HIV-unexposed children at 11 years old. Absolute metabolite concentrations were compared between these groups, through linear regression analysis. Elevated choline levels within two regions of interest suggest putative inflammation in HIV-positive children. A reduction of N-acetyl-acetate in a white-matter region of HIV-positive and HEU children implies axonal damage.

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