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J Endocrinol Invest. 2010 Nov;33(10):701-6. doi: 10.3275/6971. Epub 2010 Apr 12.

Leptin and the post-operative inflammatory response. More insights into the correlation with the clinical course and glucocorticoid administration.

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  • 1Pediatric Endocrinology Unit, the Edmond and Lily Safra Children's Hospital, Tel Aviv, Israel.



Cardiac surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) causes a systemic inflammatory process which can lead to multiple organ failure and postoperative morbidity. Recent animal and human studies suggested a possible involvement of leptin in the systemic inflammatory response.


To characterize the response of leptin to open heart surgery (OHS) and the relationship between the time course of leptin levels and the post-operative clinical course, and to examine the effect of exogenous glucocorticoids.


Forty-seven pediatric patients, undergoing OHS for congenital heart disease were studied. Thirty-four patients (Group 1) received methylprednisolone during CPB while 13 (group 2) did not. Serial blood samples were collected perioperatively and up to 24 h after surgery, and assayed for leptin and cortisol.


All patients' leptin levels decreased significantly during CPB (to 44-48% of baseline, p<0.001); they then increased, peaking at 12 h post-operatively. The levels of groups 1 and 2 were similar up to 8 h post-operatively; thereafter, those of group 1 were significantly higher. Recovery of leptin levels in patients with a more complicated post-operative course was comparatively slower. Cortisol levels of all patients increased significantly during CPB (p<0.001), gradually decreasing afterwards. Cortisol and leptin levels were inversely correlated in both patients' groups.


CPB is associated with acute changes in circulating leptin levels. A complicated postoperative course is associated with lower leptin levels which are inversely correlated with cortisol levels. Leptin may participate in post-CPB inflammatory and hemodynamic responses.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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