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buffalo hump what can I do for it?
May 4, 2001

Buffalo hump can you give me any infro on them and what I should or could do for the pain??

Response from Dr. Young

Buffalo humps or dorsocervical fat accumulation is one of the manifestations of HIV lipodystrophy. The causation of buffalo humps remains controversial, though several studies point to a multifactorial cause; most suggest that risk of fat accumulation is related the degree and magnitude of immune reconstitution and the duration of HIV disease. Hence, drug factors may be directly causal (I don't think so) or related to long-term survival.

What to do about buffalo humps is even more controversial; there has yet to be a single antiretroviral drug-switch study that has shown improvement in the size of buffalo humps (again suggesting non-drug causes); some patients have undergone surgical resection of the humps- with variable success; liposuction is not usually suscessful, because the tissue is quite fibrous. One drug intervention that has shown some promise is the use of Serostim (growth hormone)- this has been shown in small studies to cause reversal of the size of fat accumulation (neck, abdomen); though at the same time, thinning of the fat in the face and extremities (meaning that the treatment may not be valuable to those who suffer both fat accumulation and fat atrophy). Moreover, the drug is very expensive, requires injections (?risk for needle stick injury) and worse, when stopped is often associated with the recurrence of the fat accumulation.

Hope this helps, BY



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