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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Apr 1;23(7):907-13.

Circulating ghrelin level is increased in coeliac disease as in functional dyspepsia and reverts to normal during gluten-free diet.

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1
Gastroenterology Unit, University and Spedali Civili, Brescia, Italy. lanzini@med.unibs.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is controversial whether serum ghrelin concentration is altered in coeliac disease and whether this alteration is related to nutritional impairment or to inflammatory changes of duodenal mucosa.

AIM:

To investigate clinical and histopathological variables affecting circulating ghrelin in coeliac patients by comparison with dyspeptic patients and with healthy controls.

METHODS:

We measured serum ghrelin and obtained gastric and duodenal biopsies in 44 coeliac patients before and after 1-year gluten-free diet, in 39 dyspeptic patients and 53 healthy controls.

RESULTS:

Serum ghrelin concentration was significantly higher in coeliac (531 +/- 29 pg/mL, P < 0.05) and in dyspeptic patients (526 +/- 14 pg/mL, P < 0.01) than in healthy controls (451 +/- 8 pg/mL), and body mass index was significantly lower in coeliac (20 +/- 1) and in dyspeptic patients (20 +/- 1) than in healthy controls (22 +/- 1, P < 0.05). In coeliac patients serum ghrelin concentration was not related to the severity of duodenal lesions. Serum ghrelin reverted to normal (399 +/- 30 pg/mL) and body mass index increased significantly (0.6 +/- 0.1 kg/m(2) increase, P < 0.05) during gluten-free diet despite persistent duodenal lymphocytic infiltration.

CONCLUSIONS:

Ghrelin concentration is increased and body mass index is decreased in coeliac and in dyspeptic patients irrespective of presence and severity of duodenal inflammation. Nutritional impairment is a key factor in elevating plasma ghrelin levels in coeliac disease.

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