Leptin is an adipocyte-derived hormone involved in the homeostasis of body composition. An imbalance in leptin regulation has been observed in patients with liver cirrhosis. We aimed to assess serum and ascitic leptin levels in a group of patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis and to evaluate the relationship of these levels with tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α). We assessed both serum and ascitic fluid leptin levels in a series of 16 consecutive patients with liver cirrhosis. We calculated the body mass index (BMI) and assessed body fat (BF) of all patients by means of bioelectric impedence analysis. Leptin levels were analyzed in relationship to biochemical indexes, TNF-α levels, and body composition. None of the patients had spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. Both serum and ascites leptin levels were correlated with BMI and BF. On average, ascitic fluid leptin levels (13.1 ± 10.9 ng/ml) were twice as high as serum levels (7.0 ± 6.4 ng/ml), and the ascitic fluid/serum ratio of leptin was >1 in all patients. Serum and ascites leptin levels were positively correlated (rS = 0.675, P = 0.009), while no correlation was observed between leptin and TNF-α levels, both in serum and in ascites. Serum and ascites TNF-α were not correlated. The ascitic fluid leptin levels of cirrhotic patients with sterile ascites are on average two times higher than circulating levels of this hormone. Noteworthily, they correlate significantly with body composition. These findings seem to suggest that in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis, intraabdominal production of leptin may contribute to the metabolic picture.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Digestive Diseases and Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2004|
- Liver cirrhosis
- Tumor necrosis factor α
ASJC Scopus subject areas