Postoperative weight loss does not resolve after esophagectomy despite normal serum ghrelin levels

Masaru Koizumi, Yoshinori Hosoya, Katsuya Dezaki, Toshihiko Yada, Hiroshi Hosoda, Kenji Kangawa, Hideo Nagai, Alan T Lefor, Naohiro Sata, Yoshikazu Yasuda
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2011, 91 (4): 1032-7

BACKGROUND: Esophagectomy after gastric reconstruction leads to significant weight loss. Ghrelin is known to stimulate appetite and cause weight increase. The objective of this study is to examine the relationship of serum ghrelin levels and weight loss in patients after esophagectomy for cancer.

METHODS: Twenty-two patients underwent esophagectomy including gastric reconstruction. Serum ghrelin levels and weight were measured preoperatively and then postoperatively for 12 months in all patients. A questionnaire assessed appetite, amount of food eaten, satisfaction, and frequency of eating.

RESULTS: Preoperatively, the mean serum ghrelin level was 67.9 ± 42.6 (fmol/mL ± SD), and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery were 43.4 ± 28.1, 51.5 ± 32.2, 67.1 ± 50.9, and 84.9 ± 43.1, respectively. Compared with preoperative values, the mean body mass index decreased by 1.9 ± 1.5, 2.3 ± 1.8, 2.1 ± 2.3, 2.4 ± 2.7 at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery. While appetite score showed a decrease at 1 month (1.6 ± 0.92), appetite increased by 12 months postoperatively (2.7 ± 1.0) and showed a strong positive correlation (r = 0.743) with serum ghrelin levels. There were no significant differences in ghrelin levels when patients were stratified by disease stage, recurrence, or administration of adjuvant chemotherapy.

CONCLUSIONS: Esophagectomy resulted in temporary reduction of ghrelin levels, but while levels returned to normal 3 months later, weight loss persisted at 12 months. Further study is needed to elucidate the mechanisms of persistent weight loss and design therapeutic interventions to recover the weight lost.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"