HIV infected children characteristically develop a failure to thrive in 25% to 100% of symptomatic cases, with a significantly reduced survival time. The pathogenic mechanism for HIV-driven failure to thrive is not yet understood. Likely it is multifactorial, endocrine dysregulation surely plays a major, even if not yet fully clarified, role in this complication. Global evaluation of endocrine data could allow to better understand the mechanismsunderlying the failure to thrive in HIV-infected children, also in relationship with the current manifestations of the HIV infection. The results of the endocrine studies could also be related with additional features of the children, as their immunological status. It is well known that endocrine and immune functions are closely related in animals and in humans. Thus, the evaluation of the results of studies could provide some interesting information about the relationships between them in the HIV-infected child. Such relationships, if present, also could help to better define therapeutic interventions in these children.
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