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Relation Among Plasma Ghrelin Level, Gastric Emptying, and Psychologic Condition in Patients With Functional Dyspepsia

Takamori, Ken-ichi, MD*; Mizuta, Yohei, MD*; Takeshima, Fuminao, MD, PhD; Akazawa, Yuko, MD*; Isomoto, Hajime, MD*; Ohnita, Ken, MD*; Ohba, Kazuo, MD*; Omagari, Katsuhisa, MD*; Shikuwa, Saburo, MD, PhD; Kohno, Shigeru, MD, PhD*

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: May-June 2007 - Volume 41 - Issue 5 - p 477-483
doi: 10.1097/01.mcg.0000225614.94470.47
Alimentary Tract: Clinical Research

Background and Goals Neurohormonal factors might play a role in the pathogenesis of functional dyspepsia (FD). However, the role of ghrelin, a gastrointestinal hormone that stimulates gastric motility, in FD is not yet clearly defined. The present study was designed to investigate plasma ghrelin levels and their relation with gastric emptying and psychologic status in FD.

Methods Sixteen patients with FD of the dysmotility type and 19 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. Plasma active and desacyl ghrelin concentrations before and after test meal were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Gastric emptying and psychologic condition were studied using 13C acetate breath test and questionnaires, respectively.

Results Gastric emptying was significantly prolonged in patients with FD compared with controls. Fasting desacyl and total ghrelin levels were significantly lower in FD patients than in controls, but fasting active ghrelin levels and postprandial levels of ghrelin in both forms were similar between the 2 groups. Fasting total ghrelin levels in FD patients did not differ from the postprandial levels, in contrast to what was found for controls. There was no significant association among gastric emptying, plasma ghrelin levels, and psychologic factors in FD patients.

Conclusions Total secretory ability or metabolic condition of ghrelin may be altered in patients with FD. This seems to play a role in the pathophysiology of dysmotility type FD, independent of delayed gastric emptying or psychologic disorders.

*Second Department of Internal Medicine

Department of General Medicine, Nagasaki University School of Medicine

Department of Endoscopy, National Nagasaki Medical Center, Nagasaki, Japan

Reprints: Yohei Mizuta, MD, Second Department of Internal Medicine, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, 1-7-1, Sakamoto, Nagasaki 852-8501, Japan (e-mail:

Received for publication March 23, 2006; accepted July 3, 2006

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.