Serum leptin is α biomarker of malnutrition in decompensated cirrhosis

Vikrant Rachakonda, Amir A. Borhani, Michael A. Dunn, Margaret Andrzejewski, Kelly Martin, Jaideep Behari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background and Aims Malnutrition is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in cirrhosis. There is no consensus as to the optimal approach for identifying malnutrition in end-stage liver disease. The aim of this study was to measure biochemical, serologic, hormonal, radiographic, and anthropometric features in a cohort of hospitalized cirrhotic patients to characterize biomarkers for identification of malnutrition. Design In this prospective observational cohort study, 52 hospitalized cirrhotic patients were classified as malnourished (42.3%) or nourished (57.7%) based on mid-arm muscle circumference < 23 cm and dominant handgrip strength < 30 kg. Anthropometric measurements were obtained. Appetite was assessed using the Simplified Nutrition Appetite Questionnaire (SNAQ) score. Fasting levels of serum adipokines, cytokines, and hormones were determined using Luminex assays. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine features independently associated with malnutrition. Results Subjects with and without malnutrition differed in several key features of metabolic pheno-type including wet and dry BMI, skeletal muscle index, visceral fat index and HOMA-IR. Serum leptin levels were lower and INR was higher in malnourished subjects. Serum leptin was significantly correlated with HOMA-IR, wet and dry BMI, mid-arm muscle circumference, skeletal muscle index, and visceral fat index. Logistic regression analysis revealed that INR and log-transformed leptin were independently associated with malnutrition. Conclusions Low serum leptin and elevated INR are associated with malnutrition in hospitalized patients with end-stage liver disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0159142
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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