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Endocr Res. 2002 Feb-May;28(1-2):27-33.

Plasma ghrelin levels in patients with short bowel syndrome.

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3rd Department of Internal Medicine, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.


Ghrelin is a novel peptide hormone which was identified as an endogenous growth hormone secretagogue. It is mainly secreted in the stomach, but important sites of its secretion are other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Ghrelin is thought to be involved not only in regulation of growth hormone secretion but also in regulation of food intake and nutritional status. This study was aimed to investigate the changes in plasma ghrelin levels in patients with short bowel syndrome. Twenty-four patients with malnutrition due to short bowel syndrome and eleven healthy controls were included in the study. They underwent clinical examination and assessment of plasma or serum levels of ghrelin leptin, soluble leptin receptor, IGF-I, IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-3. Plasma ghrelin levels were decreased in patients with short bowel syndrome (p<0.01). Furthermore, decreased serum levels of IGF-I (p<0.01) and IGFBP-3 (p<0.001) were found in patients with short bowel syndrome. Other laboratory differences between both groups were not significant. No relationship between ghrelin and other determined variables was found. We conclude that plasma ghrelin levels are decreased in the group of patients with short bowel syndrome. It is probably because of a decrease in the tissue mass that is able to secrete ghrelin.

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