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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2008;43(9):1128-36. doi: 10.1080/00365520802085387.

Serum adipokine levels in chronic liver diseases: association of resistin levels with fibrosis severity.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, Athens University Medical School, Hippokration General Hospital, Athens, Greece.



Leptin and adiponectin have been implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and chronic hepatitis C (CHC), but little is known about the role of resistin in chronic liver diseases. The objective of this study was to investigate serum levels of the above three adipokines in relation to the etiology of liver disease and to determine their associations with histological severity.


We prospectively evaluated 146 patients (HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B (CHB): 52, CHC: 70, NASH: 24) who consecutively underwent liver biopsy. Detailed epidemiological, anthropometric and laboratory data were recorded. Histological lesions were evaluated blindly according to the Ishak and the Brunt classifications for CHB/CHC and NASH, respectively.


Serum adipokine levels were similar between CHB and CHC patients, while CHB/CHC patients had significantly lower leptin levels compared with NASH patients (8.3+/-7.3 versus 17.6+/-16.6 ng/ml, p=0.012) and higher adiponectin (10.2+/-5.1 versus 7.5+/-4 microg/ml, p=0.018) and resistin levels (7.1+/-2.5 versus 5.7+/-2.8 ng/ml, p=0.016). In CHB/CHC, there was no significant association between steatosis or necroinflammation and levels of adipokines, while the presence of moderate/severe fibrosis (stages 4-6) was associated with higher leptin and adiponectin levels in male but not in female patients and with lower resistin levels irrespective of gender or other factors (adjusted odds ratio=0.788, p=0.035).


Serum adipokine levels depend on the etiology of liver disease differing between chronic viral hepatitis and NASH, but not between CHB and CHC. In CHB/CHC, resistin levels are independently associated with fibrosis severity, whereas in the association of leptin and adiponectin levels with fibrosis, it seems to be a gender effect.

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