HIV Med. 2003 Oct;4(4):325-331.
Benn P, Ruff C, Cartledge J, Sauret V, Copas A, Linney A, Williams IG, Smith C, Edwards SG.
Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Mortimer Market Centre Department of Medical Physics, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust Departments of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Primary Care and Population Sciences, Royal Free and University College London Medical Schools, London, UK.
BACKGROUND: Prevalence and incidence rates of lipodystrophy vary widely and frequently rely upon self- and/or clinician reports. Currently no validated assessment tool for facial lipoatrophy is available. AIMS AND
OBJECTIVES: To illustrate that assessment of the severity of facial lipoatrophy by patients and clinicians is subjective. To evaluate the reproducibility of facial three-dimensional surface laser scans.
METHODS: Twenty-three HIV-positive men were recruited from an inner London HIV outpatient clinic in September 2001. CD4 count, viral load, antiretroviral history and body mass index were recorded. Patients and clinicians independently assessed the severity of facial lipoatrophy on a four-point scale and the level agreement was measured. Seventeen of the 23 patients (73.9%) underwent two scans 1 week apart, which were then superimposed. The volume difference (mm3) and mean difference (mm) between the scans for five regions of the face were measured and compared with the self-reported grade of facial lipoatrophy.
RESULTS: For each pair of clinicians (P=0.03, 0.005 and 0.0002, respectively), and for one patient-clinician pair (P=0.004), there was a significant systematic difference between the two sets of gradings of facial lipoatrophy. The level of disagreement was generally higher for patients reporting facial lipoatrophy (n=17) compared to those not reporting it (n=6). The mean volume difference and mean difference between any region were within 200 mm3 and 0.25 mm, respectively. Reproducibility was unaffected by the self-reported grade of facial lipoatrophy.
CONCLUSIONS: Assessment of the severity of facial lipoatrophy by patients and clinicians is subjective. Three-dimensional facial laser scans are reproducible and may provide an objective tool for monitoring changes in facial lipoatrophy.