Low insulin-like growth factor I and leukopenia in anorexia nervosa

Nicoletta Polli, Massimo Scacchi, Francesca Pecori Giraldi, Marica Sormani, Daniela Zappulli, Francesco Cavagnini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Considering that leukopenia and anemia are commonly observed in anorexia nervosa (AN) and that growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) markedly influence the activation, growth and survival of hemopoietic cells, we sought for possible relationships between hematologic parameters and the GH-IGF-I axis in a group of patients with AN. Method: Twenty patients were studied. Leukocyte and erythrocyte counts, as well as baseline serum GH levels and IGF-I standard deviation score (SDS) values, were determined in each participant and correlations between parameters were searched. Results: Leukocyte and erythrocyte counts, as well as IGF-I SDS values, were significantly lower, conversely GH was significantly higher in AN patients than in normal weight participants. In patients, IGF-I SDS values were positively correlated with leukocyte count and BMI, whereas no correlation was found between IGF-I SDS and hemoglobin or erythrocytes. Conclusion: The demonstration of a positive correlation between leukocyte number and circulating IGF-I in AN suggests a likely pathogenetic role of IGF-I deficiency in this hematologic abnormality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-359
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • IGF-I
  • Leuropenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Food Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology


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