Fibroblast growth factor 21 correlates with weight loss after vertical sleeve gastrectomy in adolescents

Farooq H. Khan, Lindsey Shaw, Wujuan Zhang, Rosa Maria Salazar Gonzalez, Sarah Mowery, Melissa Oehrle, Xueheng Zhao, Todd Jenkins, Kenneth D.R. Setchell, Thomas H. Inge, Rohit Kohli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective: Vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) results in weight loss and increased bile acids (BA) and fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) levels. FGF21 shares essential cofactors with FGF19, but its physiology early post-VSG has not been assessed. Methods: Ten adolescents (17.4 ± 0.5 years and BMI 51.5 ± 2.5 kg/m2) were enrolled. Fasting and postmeal (100 mL Ensure™) samples (0-120 min) were collected (pre-VSG [V1], 1 [V2], and 3 months [V3] post-VSG) for analysis of BA, FGF19, and FGF21. Results: Post-VSG subjects lost weight (V2 11.8 ± 0.8 kg; V3 21.9 ± 1.7 kg). BA and FGF19 increased by V2, 143.6% at 30 min and 74.9% at 90 min post-meal, respectively. BA hydrophobicity index also improved by V3, 21.1% at 30 min post-meal. Interestingly, fasting and 120-min post-meal FGF21 levels at V2 were increased by 135.7% and 253.9%, respectively, but then returned to baseline at V3. BA levels correlated with FGF21 at V2 (P = 0.003, r = 0.89), and body weight lost post-VSG correlated with FGF21 levels (V2; P = 0.012, R = 0.82). Conclusions: Expected changes were seen in BA and FGF19 biology after VSG in adolescents, but novel changes were seen in correlation between the early postsurgical increase in FGF21 and weight loss, suggesting that FGF21 may play a role in energy balance postoperatively, and further investigation is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2377-2383
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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