In a recently published study from Japan, 20 children with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) were retrospectively evaluated for the effect of nutritional intervention (caloric restriction) and growth hormone (GH) treatment on visceral adipose tissue (VAT). VAT has been shown to be a marker for risk of metabolic complications and is believed to be a better marker than subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT).
In this study, 17 out of the 20 children with PWS received nutritional intervention; 8 were also treated with GH and 9 were not. Three subjects received neither nutritional intervention nor GH. Baseline measurements of height, weight, VAT, and SAT were obtained on all subjects at the beginning of the study when the children were 2-3 years old. These measurements were compared to measurements taken the conclusion of the study approximately 5 years later.
The study concluded that in subjects who received consistent nutritional intervention, VAT was maintained within normal levels. Subjects who underwent nutritional intervention but did not receive GH had elevated SAT levels. Those children who received neither nutritional intervention nor GH treatment showed both increased VAT and SAT, which is associated with early development of metabolic disorders.
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Contributed by: Mary Burr, Medical & Research Coordinator