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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005 Oct;86(10):1964-8.

Fasting serum levels of adiponectin, ghrelin, and leptin in men with spinal cord injury.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.

Erratum in

  • Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2007 May;88(5):688.



To measure serum levels of adiponectin, ghrelin, and leptin in men with spinal cord injury (SCI) and to investigate possible correlations between these serum levels and various factors, such as body mass index (BMI), age, injury level, and duration of injury.




A university hospital that is a tertiary referral center.


Eighty-nine men with traumatic neurologically complete SCI (30 with tetraplegia, 59 with paraplegia) and 37 age- and BMI-matched male controls. Subjects with SCI were injured at the mean age +/- standard error of 28.5+/-1.0 years (range, 14.7-59.1 y) and the mean injury duration was 10.8+/-0.7 years (range, 1.1-27.7 y).


Not applicable.


Serum levels of adiponectin, ghrelin, and leptin and BMI.


Serum leptin levels in subjects with SCI (mean, 7.0+/-0.5 mg/mL) [corrected] were significantly higher than those in able-bodied controls (mean, 4.7+/-0.6 mg/mL) [corrected] (P<.01). The group with tetraplegia had higher serum leptin levels than the group with paraplegia, but this did not reach a statistically significant level (8.2+/-1.1 ng/mL vs 6.4+/-0.5 mg/mL [corrected] P=.097). There were significant differences in serum leptin levels among the 3 groups by 1-way analysis of variance (P=.008). Serum adiponectin levels in subjects with SCI (7.1+/-0.5 mg/mL) [corrected] were higher than those in able-bodied controls (5.6+/-0.5 mg/mL) [corrected] but this was not statistically significant (P=.08). In contrast, serum levels of ghrelin in subjects with SCI (302.0+/-17.5 pg/mL) were similar to those in the controls (264.0+/-27.0 pg/mL) (P=.24). Serum leptin levels correlated positively with BMI (SCI, r=.698, P<.001; controls, r=.782, P<.001), whereas serum adiponectin (SCI, r=-.527, P<.001; controls, r=-.315, P=.057) and ghrelin (SCI, r=-.368, P<.001; controls, r=-.447, P=.006) levels correlated negatively with the BMI in both subjects with SCI and controls.


Men with SCI have significantly higher serum leptin levels than able-bodied controls, and serum leptin levels correlated with the degree of neurologic deficit. Men with SCI had a tendency toward higher serum adiponectin level than able-bodied controls. Serum levels of ghrelin in men with SCI were similar to those of controls.

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