Backgrounds & aims: Malnutrition is a prominent feature of tuberculosis. Little is known about the role of the appetite-related hormones, ghrelin and leptin, in malnutrition in tuberculosis. This study was undertaken to determine whether ghrelin and leptin contribute to malnutrition in active pulmonary tuberculosis. Methods: Nutritional parameters and plasma levels of ghrelin, leptin, and inflammatory cytokines were measured before treatment and after clinical improvement following anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy in 23 tuberculosis subjects and 23 healthy controls prospectively. Patients were divided into well-nourished (n=15) and malnourished (n=8) groups. Results: Ghrelin but not leptin levels were significantly lower in the malnourished tuberculosis group than in the well-nourished tuberculosis group [44.0 (43.0-54.0) vs. 122 (108-158). pg/mL; p<0.05]. Malnutrition score was negatively correlated to ghrelin (ρ=-0.76, p<0.01) but not to leptin levels. TNF-α and IL-6 levels were significantly higher in the malnourished tuberculosis group than in the well-nourished tuberculosis group and controls. Plasma levels of ghrelin tended to decrease as inflammatory cytokines increased before treatment. Conclusions: Decreased plasma ghrelin levels, in addition to increased plasma inflammatory cytokine levels, may be associated with malnutrition in active pulmonary tuberculosis.
- Nutritional status