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Clinical research
Plasma ghrelin levels in children with cystic fibrosis and healthy children

Maryam Monajemzadeh, Shahrzad Mokhtari, Farzaneh Motamed, Sedigheh Shams, Mohammad Taghi Haghi Ashtiani, Ata Abbasi, Mehri Najafi Sani, Ehsan Sadrian

Arch Med Sci 2013; 9, 1: 93-97
DOI (digital object identifier): 10.5114/aoms.2012.28599
Introduction: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a common genetic disorder as a result of mutation in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator gene. Weight loss in CF patients seems to be multifactorial and metabolic factors, inflammation, recurrent infections and poor appetite are possible candidates. Ghrelin affects energy hemostasis by stimulating growth hormone secretion, glucose and lipid metabolism alteration and inhibition of the inflammatory system. Data on the role of ghrelin in energy deficiency in CF patients are sparse and controversial. The study was done to compare the plasma levels of the acylated form of ghrelin in CF patients with healthy participants.

Material and methods: Thirty cystic fibrosis patients (aged 1-168 months) and thirty healthy matched participants were enrolled in the study. Plasma ghrelin and albumin levels were measured and body mass index (BMI) was calculated as well.

Results: Plasma levels of acylated ghrelin in CF patients were significantly higher than the control group (mean 25-75%: 14.5 vs. 2.7, p = 0.032). Body mass index measurements in CF patients were significantly lower than the control group (p < 0.001). Using regression analysis there was no statistically significant correlation between plasma ghrelin levels and serum albumin, weight, height or BMI values in CF patients and controls.

Conclusions: The acylated ghrelin levels are increased in CF. So plasma levels of acylated ghrelin could be used as an indicator of food uptake and energy balance in them. Further studies should be established to find out the exact role of factors affecting energy metabolism.

ghrelin, children, cystic fibrosis, body mass index

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