Background: Ghrelin, growth-hormone-releasing peptide, has been reported to accelerate food intake and gastrointestinal motility. Aim: The present study was designed to investigate the plasma ghrelin levels in patients with functional dyspepsia (FD). Patients and Methods: Ninety-seven patients, who showed no evidence of peptic ulcer disease or gastrointestinal cancer on upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, were recruited. Seventeen patients who had no gastrointestinal symptoms were recruited as controls. Forty-seven patients were diagnosed to be suffering from FD, based on the Rome II criteria. The FD patients were further subdivided into those with ulcer-like FD, dysmotility-like FD and non-specific-type FD, based on their Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) scores. Fourteen patients were categorized as having gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, and 19 patients were excluded as having the irritable bowel syndrome, based on the GSRS. The plasma ghrelin levels were measured by radioimmunoassay. Results: The plasma ghrelin levels were significantly higher in FD patients, especially in those with dysmotility-like FD, as compared with those in controls. The plasma ghrelin levels were also correlated well with the indigestion scores. Conclusion: Plasma ghrelin levels are significantly higher in patients with dysmotility-like FD, suggesting that this parameter could become useful as a novel supportive marker for the diagnosis of FD.
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